A California regulator has settled a massive lawsuit that alleged a culture of sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard. Now under Microsoft’s ownership, the gaming company will pay about $54 million as part of the settlement, according to A Press release from the California Department of Civil Rights (CRD).
CRD (formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or DFEH) filed this lawsuit in July 2021, alleging that Activision Blizzard has a “boy-down” culture where women are subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination based on gender. After the lawsuit, employees walked out, and executives, including then-president J. Allen Brack and Blizzard’s former vice president of human resources, left the company, and months later, The Wall Street Journal It reported that CEO Bobby Kotick had known about the sexual misconduct allegations for years.
However, as part of the settlement agreement, CRD said that “no allegations have been substantiated by any court or independent investigation” of sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard and that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Kotick. according to New York times. (The company told the Securities and Exchange Commission last year that an internal investigation found “no evidence to suggest” that top executives ignored sexual harassment allegations.) Wall Street Journal also It was stated in the lawsuit on Friday.
If the court approves the settlement, Activision Blizzard will pay approximately $54,875,000 “to cover direct worker relief and litigation costs,” with $45,750,000 of that going to a “dedicated settlement fund for workers’ compensation,” CRD says.
Months after the California lawsuit, Microsoft announced that it intends to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion. After a series of regulatory hurdles, the deal finally closed in October. Kotick will remain at Activision Blizzard until the end of the year.
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