Activision Blizzard has announced it has reached a settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after the entity filed a lawsuit against them alleging harassment and discrimination.
As part of the settlement, Activision has pledged to create an $18 million USD fund to “compensate and make amends to eligible claimants.” The exact amount owed will be open to both current and former Activision Blizzard employees and will be determined by the EOCC. The fund amount doesn’t seem much of a blow to the company’s finances for which brought in net revenues of $8.1 billion USD in its last financial year.
In addition, the EOCC will also determine fund eligibility for former employees which is open to any individuals who have worked at any of the company’s US locations since September 1st, 2016. Current and former Activision Blizzard employees can claim compensation with examples that include “sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation or constructive discharge by [Activision Blizzard].”
“There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who bravely shared their experiences,” Activision Blizzard CEO, Robert Kotick said in a statement.
“I am sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard one of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces.”
In the event that any amount is leftover in the fund, the remaining money will be donated to charities. Specifically, any of which is focused on promoting awareness around harassment and gender equality issues, advancing women in the games industry, and company diversity.
The fund isn’t the only part of the settlement as the Call of Duty publisher says it is committed to the following:
- Upgrading policies, practices, and training to further prevent and eliminate harassment and discrimination in its workplaces, including implementing an expanded performance review system with a new equal opportunity focus
- Providing ongoing oversight and review of the Company’s training programs, investigation policies, disciplinary framework and compliance by appointing a third-party equal opportunity consultant whose findings will be regularly reported to our Board of Directors as well as the Commission.
Activision will also hire a “neutral, third-party equal employment consultant” to oversee if the company is meeting its tasks of the settlement; the consultant will be approved by the EOCC. In addition, the company will also be looking to hire someone with experiences in “gender discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation to assist [Activision Blizzard.”
EEOC’s agreement with Activision Blizzard is a three-year-long deal that began yesterday. The full details of the agreement can be found in the filing.