Activision Blizzard settles gender discrimination lawsuit for US $54 million

The settlement reportedly resolves recent gender discrimination and pay disparity allegations at the company.
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Activision Blizzard has agreed to pay US $54 million to settle a high profile lawsuit accusing the company of gender discrimination and pay inequality. With the agreed payment, the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) will now withdraw its claims. It has also agreed, in a public statement, that “no court or any independent investigation has substantiated any allegations that: there has been systemic or widespread sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard.”

The CRD further expressly acknowledged that no court or independent investigation had substantiated any allegations that Activision Blizzard’s board of directors, including CEO Robert Kotick, had “acted improperly with regard to the handling of any instances of workplace misconduct.”

The settlement includes provisions for payment of US $54.875 million to provide relief to workers and also cover litigation costs. US $45.75 million of this settlement will go towards compensating workers, with any excess funds set to be distributed amongst charitable organisations “focused on advancing women in the video game and technology industries or promoting awareness around gender equality issues in the workplace.”

In addition to this payment, Activision Blizzard will also now retain an independent consultant to “make recommendations regarding Activision Blizzard’s compensation and promotion policies and training materials” and it has also pledged to continue including “qualified candidates from underrepresented communities in outreach, recruitment, and retention.”

Read: The Activision Blizzard lawsuit, explained

Women who worked as employees or contract workers in the period between 2015 and 2020 may be eligible for a portion of the compensation offered, although no action is required just yet. According to the CRD, the settlement will need to be approved by the court before compensation is provided, with additional information to be posted on the CRD website after this determination.

According to Activision Blizzard, who shared a statement with IGN and other media, the company appreciates the importance of the issues raised in the lawsuit, and is dedicated to implementing the obligations assumed as part of the settlement.

“We want our employees to know that, as the agreement specifies, we are committed to ensuring fair compensation and promotion policies and practices for all our employees, and we will continue our efforts regarding inclusion of qualified candidates from underrepresented communities in outreach, recruitment, and retention,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We are also gratified that the CRD has agreed to file an amended complaint that entirely withdraws its 2021 claims alleging widespread and systemic workplace harassment at Activision Blizzard.”

Following this settlement, Activision Blizzard will look to its next chapter, under the ownership of Microsoft.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.