A United States judge on March 29 approved an $18 million settlement between Activision Blizzard and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit against the gaming company.
U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer said during the virtual hearing that she would give final approval to the settlement after Activision Blizzard and EEOC made the adjustments that she requested last week.
Activision Blizzard still faces sex discrimination lawsuits filed by shareholders, additional former employees, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which had sued the gaming company first.
During the hearing, a DFEH representative asked Fisch to delay the settlement approval, arguing that it could hurt its own case.
Fisch rejected the DFEH representative’s effort, saying that their request was “untimely.”
The EEOC settlement is the second largest harassment settlement the agency has ever negotiated and spokesperson Nicole St. Germain said that they were pleased with the approval.
Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick called the settlement “an important step in ensuring that our employees have mechanisms for recourse if they experienced any form of harassment or retaliation.”
However, critics believe that it was insufficient.
In addition to the $18 million, Activision Blizzard must also establish harassment and discrimination prevention programs that would be audited by the EEOC.
The gaming company must also expand mental health counseling services and add new personal evaluation process to leave feedback about their bosses.
The agreement would be in effect for three years.
Activision Blizzard originally agreed to settle with the EEOC last September.
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