During a press conference, more accusations of harassment at Activision Blizzard came yesterday, all while Activision Blizzard got a win in court, with a judge signing off on the consent decree which allows the company’s proposed $18 million settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to be finalized.
The judge in the case, Dale Fischer previously said that she would be almost certain to let the settlement be finalized, and had blocked California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) from its efforts to stop it. While this decision can be appealed, and the DFEH has continued its efforts, Fischer signed off on the settlement, saying “You’ve already filed a motion. Your request is untimely. Talk to the 9th circuit”.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, in a press release on the EEOC settlement, reiterated previous pledges to do better:
“Our goal is to make Activision Blizzard a model for the industry, and we will continue to focus on eliminating harassment and discrimination from our workplace. The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have mechanisms for recourse if they experienced any form of harassment or retaliation”
While the EEOC settlement seems to be on track as a win for the company, there continue to be allegations and other ways the company is tied up in legal issues over these matters.
Yesterday, the woman at the center of last week’s new lawsuit, accompanied by attorney, Lisa Bloom, and several other women, came forward to speak about what they say were their experiences. Christine, the employee that filed her suit last week, along with three others, made statements alleging sexual harassment, assault, abuse, as well as hindrance of their careers as retaliation.
According to a report by dot.LA, Bloom says she represents eight different women and each of them will ultimately be filing an individual lawsuit. Bloom is also demanding that Kotick be fired for cause, and that Activision Blizzard be forced to end mandatory arbitration clauses and that there be an independent third-party investigation.
The EEOC settlement, if there’s no change on appeal, will be an opt-in settlement, where those who decide to submit a claim, will waive their rights to be part of the still-ongoing suit brought by California’s DFEH last summer. If someone files a claim but the case includes allegations not covered by the EEOC settlement, those can still go ahead under the California suit while the rest that is covered would be waived.