Activision Blizzard settles $54 million employment discrimination lawsuit with California – Fox Business

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Activision Blizzard, the video game company behind Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, among others, has settled an employment discrimination lawsuit with the state of California for $54 million.

The settlement resolves allegations that the company “discriminated against women within the company by denying them opportunities for advancement and paying them less than men for substantially similar work,” the California Department of Civil Rights announced late Friday.

Under the agreement, which requires court approval, women who worked for Activision Blizzard between October 12, 2015 and December 31, 2020 may be entitled to compensation. About $45.75 million of the settlement amount was set aside for such payouts, the state agency said.

Activision and FTC logos

In this illustration, the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard logos are seen on a smartphone and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) logo is seen on a PC screen. (Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Activision Blizzard also agreed to take steps to ensure “fair pay and promotion practices” at the company.

“We recognize the importance of the issues raised in this agreement and are committed to fully implementing any new commitments we have made under this agreement,” Activision Blizzard said Saturday.

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The company also noted that the California Department of Civil Rights agreed to file an amended complaint withdrawing the sexual harassment allegations.

The California Civil Rights Commission sued Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard in July 2021, alleging that female employees were subjected to persistent sexual harassment, that few women were appointed to leadership positions and that in this case they earned less salary, incentive bonuses and total compensation than male peers.

The allegations helped push Activision’s stock price lower in 2021 and paved the way for Microsoft’s eventual takeover bid in January 2022. The software giant, which owns the Xbox gaming system, closed on its $69 billion in October -dollar deal to buy Activision after fending off global opposition from antitrust regulators and competitors.

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The settlement agreement states that “no court or independent investigation has substantiated any allegations” of systematic or widespread sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard, nor does it allege that the company’s board and CEO acted inappropriately or fostered a culture of harassment , retaliation, etc. have ignored or tolerated discrimination.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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