Activision Blizzard has filed for a stay to be able to look into and launch a legal investigation into allegations of ethics violations in the California agency that filed to halt the company's settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This will prolong and could completely undermine the California case if several attorneys who were EEOC employees did work on the case and compromise information.
The EEOC responded to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)'s filing to stop the settlement, which it felt would complicate and possibly make its own case more difficult. In the response, the agency named former employees, lawyers who had investigated Activision Blizzard for the EEOC case. Access to insider information is the new point of contention here and it could undermine everything.
Activision Blizzard accused the DFEH of hiding and destroying evidence, which the DFEH accused the company of doing over the summer. Thus, Activision Blizzard also filed to have the entire case moved to a more favorable court after this accusation. Though the change of court and the effort to have this case reclassified as a “complex” legislation effort has reportedly been agreed upon by the company and DFEH.
While the EEOC settlement does come with an $18 million fund attached, the details on that were unspecified, without guidelines on how the money would be distributed, who would benefit, and that money unclaimed could go back to the company.
The case has gotten even more complicated and nasty, and could be at risk. If California's case is compromised by proof of ethics violations, then the case could be thrown out, which would ultimately do nothing for the number of workers involved in making the original sexual harassment and discrimination claims that brought California to sue in the first place.