California files objection to Activision Blizzard’s £13.1million settlement

Activision Blizzard is currently entangled in multiple lawsuits over alleged worker mistreatment, including claims there is a “frat boy culture” as well as sexist workplace practices. The company recently settled a £13.1million ($18million) lawsuit with a US federal body, but the state of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed an objection, claiming it would cause “irreparable harm” to its own lawsuit.

California’s DFEH brought the first of several recent lawsuits before Activision Blizzard back in July. The DFEH lawsuit alleges Activision Blizzard is “a breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women,” especially women of colour.

“DFEH’s pending enforcement action against Defendants [Activision Blizzard] will be harmed by uninformed waivers that the proposed decree makes conditional for victims to obtain relief,” the DFEH has stated in its objection to the settlement.

“The proposed consent decree also contains provisions sanctioning the effective destruction and/or tampering of evidence critical to the DFEH’s case,” the DFEH goes on to claim. It has already alleged that Activision Blizzard HR staff have tampered with evidence relating to the case.

The settlement reached between Activision Blizzard and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compensates victims of the company’s alleged mistreatment. £13.1million ($18million) is barely 12 per cent of CEO Bobby Kotick’s salary.

The DFEH is requesting the settlement be delayed until all parties can meet and discuss the details to ensure the settlement does not interfere with its lawsuit, which it does in its current state.

The company’s response to the DFEH lawsuit was met with heavy criticism from employees, who staged a mass walkout shortly after. Activision Blizzard executive Frances Townsend, formerly an assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism to George W. Bush, stepped down from the company’s women’s network after sending a poorly received internal email claiming the lawsuit presented a “distorted and untrue picture of our company”.

In other news, Hitman has been removed from GOG’s store after issues with online requirements. 

 

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