Oct 7, 2021 - Technology

California plans to object to Activision settlement

Activision Blizzard

Image: NurPhoto/Getty Images

In new court filings, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing has indicated that it plans to officially object to September’s proposed anti-harassment settlement between Activision Blizzard and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Why it matters: A scrapped settlement could extend the scrutiny Activision faces from myriad investigations and lawsuits while delaying or nixing a planned $18 million victims fund.

  • While Activision and the EEOC have presented the settlement as a means for justice for some workers, critics have said it also lets Activision begin to turn the page relatively quickly.

Between the lines: The DFEH’s filing focuses on the technicality of when it can object, urging the court to let it do so before the plan causes it “irreparable harm.”

  • The DFEH’s objections, hinted in these preliminary filings, focus on the EEOC settlement’s lack of mention of its own suit and potential damages victims could receive.
  • It also criticizes language in the plan that could lead people who settle under the EEOC agreement to release Activision from any other claims.

Flashback: In February 2020, lawyers for women who had worked at another major California-based game company, Riot, withdrew from a planned $10 million settlement after the DFEH and others objected to the size of that deal.

  • The DFEH had argued the month prior that women who worked at Riot were entitled to $390 million more.
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