Judge approves Activision Blizzard’s $18m settlement over sexual harassment suit

A US judge has approved an $18m settlement between Activision Blizzard and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, bringing one of several discrimination lawsuits against the gaming company to a close.

During a hearing on Tuesday, US district judge Dale Fischer said she would give final approval to the settlement after Activision and the EEOC made various tweaks she requested la settimana scorsa.

The company’s legal woes aren’t yet over, tuttavia. The maker of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and other popular video games still faces suits filed by additional former employees, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and shareholders accusing the company of widespread sex discrimination.

Fischer on Tuesday also rejected a renewed effort to intervene in the case by the DFEH, which filed its own suit against Activision months before the EEOC and argued the settlement could hurt its own case.

EEOC spokeswoman Nicole St Germain said the agency was pleased that Fischer said she would approve the settlement. She said that in addition to the payout, the deal requires Activision to take steps to prevent and address discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

Nel un 2021 complaint, the EEOC had accused Activision of failing to take corrective and preventive measures on sexual harassment complaints, discriminating against women in pay and promotions, and discriminating against pregnant workers. Activision denied violating anti-bias laws, ma ha detto it will make changes to how it addresses workplace complaints.

Jahan Sagafi of Outten & Golden, who represents DFEH, told Fischer on Tuesday that federal law requires the EEOC to defer to state agencies, and that the commission lacked the authority to sue Activision because DFEH had filed its own case.

Fischer in December rejected DFEH’s initial motion to intervene in the case, and the agency has asked the ninth US circuit court of appeals to reverse that ruling. The ninth circuit on Monday denied DFEH’s motion to stay the district court proceedings pending the outcome of the appeal.

Martedì, Fischer told Sagafi that his new argument was untimely, and unnecessary because of the pending appeal. Instead claimants will be required to opt-in to receive compensation from the EEOC settlement, and in doing so will waive their right to participate in the DFEH suit.

Activision did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did DFEH. La settimana scorsa, another anonymous employee came forward with new allegations against the company and in August 2021 a group of shareholders filed suit against the company over its handling of the crisis.

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