Activision Blizzard Agrees To $54 Million Settlement In California Workplace Discrimination Suit


After a two-year legal battle, Activision Blizzard has reached a settlement with California’s Civil Rights Department regarding a workplace discrimination lawsuit. The state regulator initially filed a lawsuit against the video game company, alleging gender discrimination, pay inequities, and a culture of sexual harassment. As part of the settlement, Activision Blizzard has agreed to pay $54 million and has committed to implementing measures to ensure fair pay and equitable promotions. The majority of the funds, approximately $46 million, will be allocated to compensate workers, particularly women who were employees or contractors with the company from 2015 to 2020.

Key Takeaway

Activision Blizzard has agreed to a $54 million settlement and committed to implementing measures to address workplace discrimination following a lawsuit filed by California’s Civil Rights Department.

Settlement Details and Implications

If approved by the court, the settlement agreement will provide direct relief to Activision Blizzard workers, according to California Civil Rights Department Director Kevin Kish. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2021, accused the company of violating the state’s Equal Pay Act and Fair Employment and Housing Act. Notably, the settlement also addresses the company’s failure to implement necessary controls to collect and review employee complaints about workplace misconduct, which led to a $35 million settlement with the SEC in February.

Investigation Findings and Company Response

The settlement further states that the California Civil Rights Department’s investigation did not uncover evidence of illegal behavior by the company’s board, executives, or CEO, Bobby Kotick. Additionally, the agreement includes the withdrawal of the department’s allegations and asserts that no court or independent investigation has substantiated claims of systemic or widespread sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard.

Impact on Activision Blizzard and Leadership Changes

The lawsuit and subsequent events, including employee walkouts and regulatory scrutiny, have significantly impacted Activision Blizzard. The company’s tumultuous period culminated in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, which was finalized in October. Following the controversy, longtime CEO Bobby Kotick announced his departure from the company at the end of the year.

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