Activision Blizzard has announced it’ll pay $18 million to “eligible claimants” in an agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The news has come via a press release on Activision Blizzard’s investor portal (opens in new tab), which outlines the agreement that the company has come to with the EOCC. Chief among them is the $18 million the company will pay to “eligible claimants” with “any amounts not used for claimants will be divided between charities that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues as well as company diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as approved by the EEOC”.
While this agreement is subject to court approval, it should be noted that in the legal Decree (opens in new tab) Activision Blizzard has denied that it has “subjected any individual or group of individuals to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation, deny all allegations of wrongdoing, liability, damages and entitlement to other relief set forth in the Action whether arising under Title VII or analogous state and local laws, deny any group or systemic discrimination or harassment, and deny that any of their policies and procedures are inadequate” as part of this deal with the EEOC.
It goes on to state that: “However, the Parties recognize that through this Decree the Parties can avoid the expense, distraction and possible litigation associated with such a dispute and thus the Parties wish to resolve all issues through this Decree.”
Alongside this fund, Activision will also upgrade its policies, practices, and training around preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace, bring in a “third-party equal employment opportunity consultant” to ensure compliance with the agreement, and hire an Equal Employment Opportunity coordinator as well.
This agreement comes after it was revealed last week that Activision was also being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, alongside the EEOC, although there has been no additional news on the progress of that investigation.
This agreement is separate from the Activision Blizzard lawsuit that was launched by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which is still ongoing.