California’s DFEH files an objection to the settlement between Activision-Blizzard and the EEOC

    
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zzooooombie

It probably seemed like Activision-Blizzard had actually finally dodged a bullet in its ongoing lawsuit drama when it reached a settlement with the EEOC that would hopefully take at least a little bit of the pressure off the company, but now that’s looking less likely. The California DFEH has filed a motion with the courts to stop this settlement, arguing that among the terms of the settlement are clauses that could allow Blizzard to remove evidence of sexual harassment reporting and the possibility of re-distributing some of the settlement funds back into Activision-Blizzard programs.

This development comes in the wake of the DFEH’s August accusation that Blizzard has already been destroying records illegally, which makes the prospect of any more removals dicey to say the least. Activision-Blizzard, for its part, has responded to the situation by denying any and all wrongdoing and emphasizing the positive sides of the planned EEOC settlement:

We are committed to making Activision-Blizzard the most welcoming, inclusive, and safe workplace possible. Our agreement with the EEOC reflects our commitment to significant improvements and transparency, as well as making immediate compensation available to eligible employees who choose to participate. Activision Blizzard is ensuring a workplace free from discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind.

As the DFEH has stated that this settlement directly pertains to and could harm its ongoing case, it’s going to be interesting to see how this particular injunction plays out. It also notes that the EEOC failed to communicate with DFEH regarding the proposed settlement and did not wait until ongoing legal action was concluded, further complicating the arrangement. Which means that anyone in Activision-Blizzard breathing easier over that settlement is now a little more tense again.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial company in the MMO and gaming space owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In the summer of 2021, the company was sued by the state of California for fostering a work environment riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which has further compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. As of fall 2021, multiple state and federal agencies are currently investigating the company.
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Mat Bars

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Arktouros

Comes off a bit like a pissing contest over territory.

They’re likely more upset at the fact that because EEOC got a settlement going that anyone they might have been working with or any specific claims they were working would basically be considered “resolved” because they took that settlement which would likely remove even more cases/examples that the DFEH case was going to be built on.

Truth is in either outcome be it DFEH’s end result or the EEOC’s settlements in both cases it will lead to anyone who has a claim to be made able to get compensation for any wrong doing and calling it done. EEOC just got there faster with a settlement. If the EEOC’s settlements overlap with the DFEH’s cases then I don’t really see the difference so long as the victims get the restitution they deserve. If the DFEH’s case really is more extensive then they should have no problems pushing forward.

I think this one is going to come down to the judge hearing it and whether they’re interested in victims getting restitution or everyone getting an At Bat against a big corpo.

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HawkeWar

looks like there are defiantly personal axes being ground here, on the backs of the victims no less..the EEOC seems to be more concerned about removals, than the terrible way employees were treated…this isn’t a good look for the State.

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Dobablo

California’s DFEH should be ashamed of themselves. Yes the EEOC jumped the gun and probably should have waited for the DFEH to get their case done first, but that does not defend how much the DFEH have just screwed over the victims.
Anyone that claims compensation for abuse suffered now risks being called up by the DFEH to testify.

WayTooLateTV
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WayTooLateTV

The state screwed up here in a frenzy to get to the jugular, yeah. DFEH needed to finish their case first, then the EEOC, and you’re 100% right, the DFEH absolutely are screwing over the victims, who are whom we have to keep in the forefront here.

I think folks, not gonna lie, myself included at times, are getting too revenge-hungry against Bobby Kotick and company, and not remembering that there are actual harassment, rape, and assault victims here, and that there needs to be protection and recompense for them first and foremost.

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Danny Smith

Good Fuck em’ – Descartes, probably.

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Bryan Correll

Bonum irrumabo eos – Cause he liked to put things in Latin.
Edit, since you inspired me.
Laisse-les manger de la bite – Marie Antoinette

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Bruno Brito

“I’m going to shoot one shareholder for each evidence showing you guys are creepy bastards” – Benjamin Franklin

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Mat Bars

“Joke’s on you, our shareholders keep bailing. …Wait…”

WayTooLateTV
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WayTooLateTV

Department of Fair Employment and Housing, for those wondering.

WayTooLateTV
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WayTooLateTV

And I realllllllllly was hoping that ActiBlizz wasn’t going to get away with a settlement and a fine, so this is kinda welcome news.

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Peregrine Falcon

They still could. The judge could easily rule against DFEH’s motion.

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Greaterdivinity

Given the earlier allegations/reports of ATVI destroying evidence, and the clause in the settlement that explicitly allows them to continue doing just that, I hope to shit the judge says fuck no.

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Dobablo

The settlement commands Blizzard to remove any record of accusations made from the victims’personal files. It is designed to protect the victims of sexual abuse from future retribution. No one inside Activision-Blizzard should be able to look up a person and discover that they were sexual abuse and have sued the company.

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Bruno Brito

The settlement commands Blizzard to remove any record of accusations made from the victims’personal files.

And if that isn’t followed? Are they going to get another slap in the wrist fine again?

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Armsman

Since the lawsuit in question was filed before the EEOC case and settlement, that’s highly unlikely.

You’re not going to find any judge in the US that likes settlements which allow evidence to be destroyed as part of said settlement. If there was no pending litigation however a judge might still let the provision stand, but given this situation; I don’t think there’s any way in hell a judge is going to let that provision of the settlement stand.

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Arktouros

What do you think will happen in DFEH’s case instead of a settlement and a fine?

WayTooLateTV
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WayTooLateTV

in the 7 hours since this comment, and since reading what the settlement was doing in the first place, I kinda changed my tune a bit. see my reply above to see what I think priorities and such should be/have been.

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Arktouros

Fair enough!