California settles Activision Blizzard gender discrimination lawsuit for $54 million – The Verge

A California regulator has settled its Blockbuster lawsuit over alleged sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard. According to a press release from the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), the gaming company, now owned by Microsoft, will pay approximately $54 million as part of the settlement.

The CRD (formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or DFEH) filed this lawsuit in July 2021, alleging that Activision Blizzard had a “frat boy” culture in which women were subjected to sexual harassment and gender discrimination. After the lawsuit, employees left the company, executives like then-Blizzard President J. Allen Brack and Blizzard’s former SVP of HR left the company, and months later, the Wall Street Journal reported that CEO Bobby Kotick had known about allegations of sexual misconduct for years have .

However, as part of the settlement agreement, the CRD said that “no court or independent investigation has substantiated any allegations” of sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard and that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Kotick, according to the New York Times. (The company told the SEC last year that an internal investigation “found no evidence” that senior executives ignored allegations of gender-based harassment.) The WSJ also reported on the lawsuit on Friday.

If a court approves the settlement, Activision Blizzard will pay approximately $54,875,000 to “cover direct employee relief and litigation costs,” with $45,750,000 of that going to “a workers’ compensation settlement fund.” go, according to the CRD.

Months after the California lawsuit, Microsoft announced that it planned to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal. After a series of regulatory hurdles, that deal finally closed in October. Kotick will remain with Activision Blizzard until the end of the year.


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