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Activision agrees to a $50 million settlement in a workplace discrimination lawsuit

Activision Blizzard has reached a settlement of approximately $50 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) in 2021. The lawsuit accused the video game company of gender discrimination, including claims of denying promotions and underpaying female employees. The settlement comes after a two-year investigation by the CRD, during which allegations of systemic sexual harassment were withdrawn, according to the settlement agreement obtained by Reuters.

The remaining allegations addressed by the settlement include accusations that Activision discriminated against women by limiting promotion opportunities and paying them less than their male counterparts for comparable work. The CRD, in a statement released on Friday, detailed that Activision has committed to implementing measures to ensure fair pay and promotion practices. Additionally, the company will provide financial relief to women who worked as employees or contract workers in California between October 12, 2015, and December 31, 2020. The settlement is contingent on court approval.

The CRD acknowledged, as part of the settlement agreement, that there has been no substantiation through court or independent investigations of systemic or widespread sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard. Activision emphasized this point in its statement, highlighting that no investigations found improper actions by its board or chief executive in handling workplace misconduct instances.




Activision Blizzard: Activision to pay $50 million to settle workplace  discrimination lawsuit - The Economic Times
Activision Blizzard: Activision to pay $50 million to settle workplace discrimination lawsuit

As part of its commitment to addressing workplace issues, Activision previously agreed in 2021 to pay up to $18 million to settle similar claims raised by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The company’s acquisition by Microsoft for nearly $69 billion in October 2021 took place amid ongoing scrutiny of its workplace practices.

The settlement with the CRD is another step in Activision’s efforts to resolve legal challenges related to its workplace environment. Beyond the financial settlement, the company has committed to enacting measures to promote fair treatment, emphasizing that the resolution does not imply an admission of guilt.

It’s worth noting that workplace issues, particularly those related to discrimination and harassment, have gained increased attention across various industries, leading companies to reassess and improve their internal policies and practices. The gaming industry, in particular, has faced heightened scrutiny, prompting calls for increased accountability and transparency in addressing workplace concerns.

As the settlement awaits court approval, Activision will likely continue facing public scrutiny and expectations regarding its ongoing efforts to foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment. The resolution of these legal challenges is essential for the company to rebuild trust and maintain a positive corporate image, especially following its acquisition by Microsoft.

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