Activision Blizzard just settled with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The news comes less than a week after the company became the subject of a formal complaint alleging sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination.
According to Activision Blizzard, it has committed $18 million as part of the settlement to "compensate and make amends to eligible claimants." Meanwhile, any money [left over] from the compensation will go towards "charities that advance women in the video game industry". Activision Blizzard also promised that part of the funds will go to other charities that "promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues as well as company diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Activision Blizzard continues to fight several legal battles at once
The latest complaint by the EEOC against Activision Blizzard is just one of the many that the video game publisher is currently facing.
According to the EEOC, its investigation into Activision Blizzard started in September 2018. From then up until now, the commission alleges that its findings include multiple sexual harassment complaints from employees and that Activision Blizzard was aware of some of these complaints. Furthermore, the EEOC adds that the company "failed to take corrective and preventative measures" once they found out about the harassment.
It is worth noting that EEOC's lawsuit is similar to the complaint filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) back in July. In addition to this, Activision Blizzard shareholders filed another lawsuit against the company's leadership, that its actions allegedly damaged its share price. Finally, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Activision Blizzard for its poor handling of several allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, as well as workplace discrimination.
With that said, Activision Blizzard's settlement with the EEOC is a big win. However, it appears that its troubles are not going to end anytime soon.
The past few months have not been kind to Activision Blizzard at all. Back in July, employees organized a protest in support of the sexual harassment lawsuit. This, among other things, led to a 9% drop in the value of its shares. Soon after, longtime Blizzard employee, J. Allen Brack, decided to step down from his post as the company's president. Further reports claim that Activision Blizzard had suppressed related evidence just as the SEC subpoenaed Bobby Kotick as part of an ongoing federal investigation.
Activision Blizzard claims that it is continuing to "productively engage with regulators." However, the outcome of the other lawsuits remains to be seen.