Activision Blizzard to pay $50 million in workplace harassment lawsuit settlement
California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) sued Activision Blizzard in 2021 and will settle with the company out of court.TJ Denzer
December 15, 2023 7:35 PMImage via Blizzard Entertainment2
In 2021, the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) sued Activision Blizzard over a wealth of reported workplace harassment cases at the company. In 2023, Acti-Blizz has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the lawsuit and the CRD will withdraw its charges and allegations. This settlement will also see Activision Blizzard forced to take additional steps in ensuring fair pay and promotion practices, as well as paying monetary relief to female employees that were working as contractors at Activision Blizzard between October 2015 and December 2020.
The CRD and Activision Blizzard both issued statements in relation to the lawsuit settlement this Friday, December 15, 2023, as reported by Reuters. Reportedly, with Activision Blizzard agreeing to pay $50 million to settle the lawsuit, the CRD in turn will withdraw all of its allegations and dismiss its harassment-related claims.
In turn, Activision Blizzard seems to be entirely exempt from the claims the CRD originally made against it.
“In the settlement agreement, the CRD expressly acknowledged that ‘no court or independent investigation has substantiated any allegations that there has been systemic or widespread sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard,” the company said in its own statement.
Activision Blizzard also claimed that no investigation substantiated improper handling of workplace conduct by its Board of Directors or CEO, although that is pretty clearly incorrect.
Either way, it’s another fat check Activision Blizzard is forced to cut just as its set to be acquired by Microsoft, with a previous lawsuit being settled for around $18 million. It also dropped $35 million in a settlement with the SEC for violating US whistleblower rules. Microsoft is paying $68.7 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard, so there’s no reason to back out now, but the firm should probably be checking to see if it will get stuck with some of those costs following the confirmed acquisition. Stay tuned for more information as it become available.