Activision Blizzard has been hit with yet another lawsuit, this time from the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] [via gamesindustry.biz]. This is another US government body to investigate the video game publisher after the State of California sued the company earlier this year.
The publisher of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft has said that it will settle the lawsuit with a $18 million compensation fund. That money is promised to go to both previous and current staff entitled to compensation because of the lawsuits. It’s open to employees who worked for the company after September 1st 2016. Potential claimants include those who have experienced: ‘sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation or constructive dischage by [Activision Blizzard].’
Once damages have been paid out, any remaining money will be donated to awareness charities that focus on harassment and gender inequality issues. The idea is promised to champion women and marginalised genders within the games industry as well as company diversity and inclusivity. The chosen charities are to be signed off by the EEOC before payments are made.
Meanwhile, Bobby Kotick takes home $155m this year
However, $18 million is a small price to pay for a company of such size and such wrongdoing. Warzone alone, the battle royale branch of Call of Duty, makes $5 million every single day. That’s almost $2 billion over 12-months. For further context, Activision Blizzard’s CEO is set to receive a $155 million pay packet this year [via Eurogamer].
Meanwhile, Kotick gave a refreshed statement regarding this new lawsuit and settlement.
‘There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who bravely shared their experiences,’ Kotick said. ‘I am sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard one of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces.
‘We will continue to be vigilant in our commitment to the elimination of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We thank the EEOC for its constructive engagement as we work to fulfill our commitments to eradicate inappropriate conduct in the workplace.’
Alongside the meagre payout, the company also promises to develop new training software that improves workplace policies. A bunch of new internal hires are also proposed to help promote equal pay at the company. The EEOC is overseeing some of these hires.
While Activision Blizzard has managed to make some headway with this particular lawsuit, it’s still being held accountable by the US Securities and Exchange commission for alleged union busting practices. At the same time, the original lawsuit from the State of California is ongoing. The conditions of the original lawsuit have since been updated after the publisher was allegedly caught shredding documents pertinent to the investigation.
[Featured Image Credit: Activision]