Breadcrumb

  1. Inicio
  2. node
  3. What You Should Know About: EEOC's Settlement with Activision Blizzard

What You Should Know About: EEOC's Settlement with Activision Blizzard

Skip to Frequently Asked Questions about the Claims Process

Background

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency tasked with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment. The EEOC was created by Congress to litigate in the public interest. In early 2018, the EEOC received an anonymous letter regarding sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard. After gathering further information, the EEOC initiated a companywide investigation against Activision Blizzard, Inc. in September 2018. Following its investigation, the EEOC filed suit in federal court on September 27, 2021, alleging that Activision Blizzard, Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Activision Publishing, Inc., and King.com, Inc., and their subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “Activision Blizzard”), violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting employees to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation related to sexual harassment or pregnancy discrimination. On the same day, the EEOC also filed a proposed Consent Decree resolving the lawsuit and outlining how Activision Blizzard would provide monetary and non-monetary relief for potential victims.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing initiated an investigation into Activision Blizzard, Inc. approximately one month after the EEOC’s investigation commenced. In accordance with EEOC’s Worksharing Agreement with the State of California in effect at that time, the EEOC and California split responsibility for the investigation into Activision Blizzard, with the EEOC taking responsibility for the investigation of claims of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and related retaliation. 

On March 30, 2022, a federal court ordered approval of the EEOC’s Consent Decree, finding it “fair, reasonable, and adequate” under the applicable legal standard. The Consent Decree covers individuals who were employees of Activision Blizzard anywhere in the United States at any time between September 1, 2016 and March 29, 2022.  During this period, Activision Blizzard had employees in California, Texas, New York, Minnesota, Arkansas, and Wisconsin.

What does the Consent Decree do?

The Consent Decree settles the EEOC’s case against Activision Blizzard. The Consent Decree includes three types of relief: (1) monetary relief for harmed individuals who wish to participate; (2) victim specific relief that provides specific, non-monetary relief for harmed individuals who request it; and (3) injunctive (remedial) relief intended to correct and prevent discrimination by imposing requirements on Activision Blizzard.

  1. As monetary relief, the Consent Decree includes an $18 million settlement fund to compensate individuals (“eligible claimants”) who experienced sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or related retaliation during their employment with Activision Blizzard. An eligible claimant is someone who submits a claim form and who the EEOC determines has met the following requirements:
    1. Experienced sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or related retaliation by any of the defendants;
    2. Incidents experienced occurred between the period of September 1, 2016 and March 29, 2022; and
    3. Worked for or at any U.S. location of Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Publishing, and King.com (or any of their subsidiaries). Locations include Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, California, Texas, and Arkansas. 

    The EEOC has sole discretion to determine who is an eligible claimant and the amount of monetary relief each eligible claimant should be awarded. The EEOC encourages individuals who believe they have been harmed to come forward and submit a claim form as there is significant monetary relief available. You should file a claim if you believe you have been a target of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation while you were employed by Activision Blizzard or one of the related entities during the time period of September 2016 to March 29, 2022.

  2. With regard to victim-specific relief, the Consent Decree allows an eligible claimant to request that harmful documents be removed from the claimant’s personnel file and to request that an unfair termination be reclassified as a resignation. The Decree also provides for neutral references for eligible claimants and requires Activision Blizzard to offer future career opportunities to eligible claimants on the same basis as all other applicants. This relief is intended to prevent future harm to eligible claimants (such as negative impact on future career prospects).
  3. With regard to injunctive or nonmonetary relief, the Consent Decree ensures that Activision Blizzard’s employment practices comply with the federal laws governing sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation. This is achieved through monitoring by the EEOC; the review of the companies’ policies with respect to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; effective training; ensuring that complaints are handled effectively and appropriately; and timely reporting and record-keeping (among other terms).

What does the Consent Decree not do?

The Consent Decree does not require victims of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation to participate in the claims process. Submitting a claim is a voluntary process that is separate and distinct from any other potential avenues to resolve such claims with the companies in question. No individual claims have been or will be released until the individual elects (after receiving advice from an attorney) to accept a monetary settlement award.

The Consent Decree does not automatically release any individual’s rights. Unlike many class action settlements, the EEOC’s settlement does not require individuals to affirmatively opt out to preserve their rights. The only way an individual can release their claims under the EEOC’s lawsuit is a three-step process: first, the individual must affirmatively opt in by filing a claim form; second, the EEOC will determine whether the individual is eligible and if the individual is eligible, will tell the individual how much money the EEOC has allocated to resolve the individual’s claims; and third, the individual must affirmatively decide to accept the EEOC’s allocated settlement amount by consulting with a free attorney to discuss their rights and signing a release of claims with Activision Blizzard.

The Consent Decree does not require or allow Activision to destroy any documents. The EEOC negotiated a term in the Consent Decree intended to provide a fair playing field to eligible claimants who feel there may be documentation (such as write-ups or discipline) in their personnel files that were placed there as a result of the sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or retaliation they experienced that would prevent them from future opportunities such as promotions, other jobs, or even unemployment benefits. It will ultimately be the decision of each eligible claimant whether they want any documents removed from their file. If an eligible claimant indicates there may be something objectionable in the claimant’s file that the claimant would like to have removed, the EEOC will review the file to determine whether any such documents exist that should be removed. The EEOC will only require Activision to remove such documents if the claimant wishes them to be removed, and if the EEOC agrees removal is appropriate. Should any such documents be removed, Activision will still be required under the law and the Consent Decree to keep those records and not destroy them. The district judge who approved this settlement agreed with the EEOC that the EEOC would not condone the unlawful destruction of documents nor would the court agree to such a document destruction provision. 

The Consent Decree does not address other forms of discrimination, harassment or retaliation that individuals may have experienced. If you are experiencing other issues arising from discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including LGBTQ), religion, age, disability and/or genetic information, please feel free to start the EEOC charge filing process online at:  How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (eeoc.gov).

How to File a Claim

Questions regarding making a claim and/or filling out the claim form as part of the settlement should be directed to the EEOC via telephone at (213)-785-3095 ext. 6 or via email at activisionclaimants@eeoc.gov.

Questions about receiving a claim form, notice, or Claimant ID, or submitting a claim form, can be directed to the EEOC (using the contact info above) or the Claims Administrator (Atticus Administration) at 1-888-201-1070 or via e-mail at info@eeocactivisionblizzardconsentdecree.com.

Even if you believe you have spoken to the EEOC about your claim previously, you should submit a claim form. Your claim form is how you notify the EEOC that you wish to be considered for a settlement award. The EEOC will review any previous information it already has about your claims when it reviews the claim form. The EEOC may reach out to ask you further questions or obtain additional information about your claims.

Please do not contact the court or Activision Blizzard concerning the claims process. 

A Note on the Release of Claims

The Release of Claims is a separate agreement between eligible claimants and Activision Blizzard entities. It is important to note that the EEOC is not a party to this Release of Claims.

The EEOC has ensured that the Release of Claims does not contain provisions it deems to be against public policy (such as arbitration agreements, or clauses requiring non-disclosure, non-disparagement or confidentiality on the part of eligible claimants). The EEOC has also negotiated for each eligible claimant who wishes to accept a settlement award to consult with an attorney to ensure that any release of claims is knowingly made with full information and the opportunity to ask questions. The attorneys will be selected by the eligible claimants. The attorney can either be one the eligible claimants select themselves or from a list the EEOC has compiled of experienced attorneys who have confirmed they are willing to provide this consultation. Individuals will be provided with up to one (1) hour of consultation at no cost. Individuals must return the Release of Claims form by the deadline listed in the Notice of Eligibility to receive their allocated monetary relief.

Ultimately, the decision to complete the Release of Claims is yours to make, and you are under no obligation to do so. None of your claims will be released until you sign the Release of Claims and accept a settlement award after consulting with an attorney.

Some Important Features of the Consent Decree

The Activision Blizzard Consent Decree makes relief available to eligible claimants, even though they may not have filed a timely charge of discrimination. This resolution achieves substantial relief for all claimants, including those who did not come forward with their own claims, without requiring them to undergo the often harrowing and lengthy process of litigation and public scrutiny of their individual claims and stories. Title VII ordinarily requires that a charge of discrimination be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory conduct. Because the EEOC initiated its own investigation in this case, individuals who did not file their own charge of discrimination and, as a result, who have claims that ordinarily would have been too late, may be covered. The EEOC further negotiated for the covered time period to go back to September 1, 2016, to allow even more time-barred claimants to be able to participate in the settlement.

The deadline to file a claim is August 13, 2022.  Participation is completely voluntary and submitting a Claim Form does not obligate potential claimants to participate further, but the EEOC cannot provide relief to those who do not file.  Submitting a claim enables you to be considered by the EEOC to determine whether you are an eligible claimant. If you are eligible, the EEOC will tell you how much it will award you in monetary relief and you will have access to free legal consultation to decide whether you want to accept the EEOC’s award. Simply submitting a claim form does not release your claims. None of your claims will be released unless and until you sign the Release of Claims and accept a settlement award.

The amount of the settlement fund is based, in part, on caps on monetary damages in federal law. Title VII includes a monetary cap on compensatory and punitive damages of a total of $300,000 per person. As some state laws do not have statutory caps, we recommend potential claimants explore their legal options; one way to do so is by making a claim through the EEOC process and, if deemed eligible to receive a monetary award, taking advantage of the free hour of consultation provided in the Decree.

The provision to change or remove documents from employee records is designed to protect employees’ career progression.  The Consent Decree provides eligible claimants with the option of removing references to allegations of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation or other information determined by the EEOC to be related to such allegations. Such documentation, if retained within the employees’ records, may result in negative impacts on claimants’ careers or re-employment at Activision Blizzard or similar companies. The EEOC will only ask Activision Blizzard to take such an action if the eligible claimant requests it and the EEOC agrees that it is appropriate. The documents that are removed will be retained by Activision Blizzard but will be segregated from the employee’s records. Eligible claimants will also have the option of requesting that their terminations be reclassified to voluntary resignation if a claimant has been identified by the EEOC as being subjected to retaliation. Again, the EEOC will only ask Activision Blizzard to reclassify terminations if the eligible claimant requests it.

The Consent Decree Provides the Following Benefits to Eligible Claimants:

  • $18 million in monetary relief
  • One (1) hour of legal consultation at no cost
  • Option to remove harmful documents from personnel files
  • Option to reclassify terminations as voluntary resignations

The Consent Decree Provides the Following Benefits to All Employees, Regardless of Whether They Make a Claim:

  • Expanded mental health counseling services available to employees who have experienced sexual harassment at any time
  • A toll-free hotline for employees and staffing agency workers to report complaints, even anonymously, that will be monitored 24/7

The Consent Decree Places the Following Requirements on Activision Blizzard in Order to Correct and Prevent Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation:

  • The company will hire a neutral, third-party equal employment opportunity (EEO) Consultant, approved by the EEOC. The EEO Consultant will provide oversight regarding the company’s compliance with and implementation of the Decree;
  • The EEO Consultant will conduct unannounced audits including seeking feedback from current employees to assess whether sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and related retaliation issues are properly being addressed;
  • The EEO Consultant will oversee and review the company’s policies and procedures for handling complaints (which will also apply to interns and temps, and the online gaming environment);
  • The company will create an internal EEO coordinator position to work with the EEO consultant to ensure compliance with the decree;
  • The company will implement additional policies such as an alcohol policy and workplace relationship policies;
  • The company must provide anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training that includes bystander intervention and civility components. The trainings must be reviewed by the EEO Consultant;
  • Human Resources personnel will attend EEO training on conducting appropriate HR investigations;
  • The company will evaluate its disciplinary framework and protocols to ensure that the actions taken in response to complaints lead to effective corrective and preventative measures;
  • The company will implement a performance review system for managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel that includes an EEO component;
  • The company will maintain a centralized tracking system for complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
  • The company will implement comprehensive record keeping and reporting mechanisms;
  • The company will regularly report on its progress to the EEOC.

You should also review the EEOC’s answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions, you can contact the EEOC at (213) 785-3095 ext. 6 or via email at activisionclaimants@eeoc.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Claims Process

WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT COVER?

There are three components of the EEOC’s settlement with the defendants: (1) monetary relief, (2) Claimant-specific relief; and (3) injunctive (nonmonetary) relief.

WHO CAN FILE A CLAIM FOR MONETARY RELIEF?

You can file a claim if you:

  1. worked for or at any U.S. location of Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Publishing, and King.com (or any of their subsidiaries). Locations include Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, California, Texas, and Arkansas.
  2. believe you experienced sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or related retaliation by any of the defendants; and
  3. experienced those incidents between September 1, 2016 and March 29, 2022.

IF I MAKE A CLAIM, DO I GIVE UP MY RIGHTS FOR OTHER CLAIMS?

No. By merely making a claim, you do not give up any rights. This case does NOT compensate for or release claims related to pay, promotion, or any other claims other than sex harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or related retaliation. We encourage you to make a claim here: Claim Form.

The process is purely voluntary. Submitting a claim form results in no risks, no obligations, and no loss of rights. After receiving your claim form, the EEOC will evaluate your eligibility and make an assessment of your monetary award, if any. After being notified of your monetary award, you will be given your choice of private plaintiff’s attorneys to consult for free for one hour. You can decide at any time until you sign a release at the end of the process to participate or not. 

This is purely your decision to make. The EEOC believes strongly in an individual’s right to decide how to dispense of your claims. 

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Your options are to either make a claim or do nothing.

The EEOC encourages anyone who was employed by Activision Blizzard anywhere in the U.S. at any time from September 1, 2016 to March 29, 2022 and believes they were subjected to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation during their employment to Submit a Claim Form.  This case does not cover pay or promotion claims and you are free to pursue those separately.

Participation is completely voluntary and submitting a Claim Form does not automatically release your claims or obligate you to participate further. You must submit a Claim Form to be considered for an offer of monetary relief in this case. Claim Forms must be submitted online or postmarked for mail by August 13, 2022.

After you submit your Claim Form, you will be notified if you are allocated a monetary share and other specific relief, if requested, relating to your own personnel file. A private plaintiff’s counsel will then be provided for you to consult for one hour at no cost so you can ask questions related to your specific case prior to accepting an award. You can accept or decline at any time.  

If you choose to do nothing, you will not be considered for an offer of monetary relief in this case and you will retain any claims you have. If you wish to pursue any claims you believe you have outside of the EEOC’s process, the EEOC strongly recommends you consult an attorney as soon as possible as time limits and other obstacles may apply.

WHAT IF I BELIEVE I HAVE A CLAIM BUT NEVER RECEIVED NOTICE IN THE MAIL?

You can still submit a Claim Form. You may request a copy of the Claim Form from the Claims Administrator directly. You must still submit your Claim Form by the deadline, but if you require an extension, please request one from the Claims Administrator, explaining what circumstances necessitate the extension.

HOW WILL MY MONETARY OFFER BE CALCULATED?

The EEOC will calculate your monetary offer, if any, by reviewing your responses in the Claim Form and determining whether you were subjected to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or related retaliation. The EEOC will take into consideration all information you provide to make this determination. The EEOC will then determine, based on all factors, including the strength of your claims and amount of harm you suffered, how much you should be allocated.

WHAT IF I AM NOT SURE IF I WANT TO FILE A CLAIM?

We encourage you to submit a Claim Form.  It is available at www.eeocactivisionblizzardconsentdecree.comSubmitting a claim form does not obligate you to accept an award or release any claims.  This process is completely voluntary. 

WHAT IF I AM ALLOCATED AN AWARD BUT I DO NOT WANT TO ACCEPT IT?

Accepting a monetary award is completely voluntary. If you decide you do not want to accept an award, you do not have to do so. Your decision not to accept a monetary award has no effect on your legal rights.

WHAT IF I WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE DECIDING WHETHER TO ACCEPT THE MONETARY AWARD?

You may do so. The EEOC has made arrangements for a number of independent, private lawyers to discuss with you whether to accept EEOC’s monetary offer, including whether to release legal claims and the effect of releasing any claims; this legal advice will be provided at no cost to you for one hour. Your consultation will be completely confidential and privileged. Activision Blizzard will pay up to $450 for one hour of consultation. You will not communicate with Activision Blizzard or their attorneys at any time. Activision Blizzard and their attorneys will not be present during your consultation. You will be provided information on next steps once you are notified of your monetary award.

WHAT IF I WANT TO GET MY OWN ATTORNEY?

It is your right to retain your own attorney. If you are allocated an amount from the class fund, then one hour of your attorney’s time will be paid for by Activision, at no cost to you.

IF I SIGN A RELEASE AND ACCEPT THE MONEY IN EEOC’S CASE, DOES THAT PREVENT ME FROM PARTICIPATING IN OTHER ACTIONS?

No. You are not barred from participating and collecting in other lawsuits. The EEOC’s case only compensates for claims of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and related retaliation. The EEOC case specifically does not compensate for pay and promotion or claims other than those in the EEOC’s case for sex harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and/or related retaliation. You should consult an attorney about your rights if you believe you have other claims beyond sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and related retaliation.

ONCE IT IS DETERMINED THAT I WILL BE OFFERED AN AWARD, DOES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD HAVE ANY SAY OVER THE AMOUNT OF THAT AWARD?

No. The EEOC has sole discretion as to the amount of the monetary relief offered.

WHAT MAY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DO WITH THE INFORMATION THAT I AM RECEIVING AN AWARD?

  • If you request and the EEOC approves, Activision Blizzard will remove from your personnel file any references to your allegations of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation or any information determined by the EEOC to be related to such allegations.
  • Activision Blizzard will handle work inquiries/confirmation for you through their established third-party vendor neutral reference process.
  • If you request and the EEOC approves, Activision Blizzard will reclassify your termination to voluntary resignation if you have been identified by the EEOC as being subjected to retaliation.
  • Activision will ensure that you are not prohibited from re-employment with Activision Blizzard, other than for non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons.

WILL THE FACT THAT I MADE A CLAIM OR RECEIVED AN AWARD BE SHARED WITH FUTURE EMPLOYERS?

No.

IS THERE RELIEF TO WHICH I MAY BE ENTITLED OTHER THAN MONEY?

Yes. The Decree also provides for victim-specific injunctive relief for current and former employees who would like to remove potentially harmful information from their personnel files. For example, if you received a negative performance review that you believe was the result of a protected complaint or if you would like the record of a complaint you made removed from your file to prevent future retaliation, you can indicate this on the Claim Form (questions 41-42). You will be consulted before your personnel file is requested. We will not remove anything from your personnel file without your prior permission. Another form of relief you may request as a former employee is to have your termination re-categorized as a voluntary resignation. This may help you seek future employment. You can request this relief on the Claim Form and will be consulted before it is requested on your behalf. All eligible claimants will be entitled to a neutral reference to potential future employers. Any materials removed from your file will not be destroyed but placed in a separate file.

AM I PROTECTED FROM RETALIATION FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROCESS?

You are protected by federal law against retaliation for participating in this process. Federal law prohibits retaliation against persons who have exercised their right to inquire or complain about matters they believe may violate the law. Retaliation may include, but is not limited to, unfair write-ups, unfair scrutiny, unfair discipline, demotions, denied employment opportunities, termination, or being forced to resign. Retaliation against persons who have cooperated in EEOC investigations is also prohibited. Such retaliation is also prohibited under the terms of the Consent Decree (Section XI.B). If you believe you may have been retaliated against for participating in the EEOC’s claims administration process, contact the EEOC at (213)-785-3095 ex. 6.

IS $18 MILLION ENOUGH MONEY?

Yes. The federal district court, after examining the evidence submitted by the EEOC, deemed the monetary and injunctive relief remedies consistent with federal law and ruled that the consent decree was “fair, reasonable, adequate, and advance[s] the public interest” which is the legal standard in which Consent Decrees are approved by the court.

AM I COMPETING WITH 10,000 EMPLOYEES FOR MONEY? 

No. There is no evidence to support that 10,000 individuals will participate in the claims process. Based upon years of investigating this matter and talking to numerous individuals, the EEOC projects claims in the hundreds. Even if every woman employed by Activision filed a claim in this opt-in process, the number of claims would be far less than 10,000. The vast majority of Activision’s employees are male, and the largest group impacted in this case is women who experienced sexual harassment. 

DOES THE CONSENT DECREE CALL FOR DESTRUCTION OF DOCUMENTS?

The Consent Decree DOES NOT and CANNOT require or allow Activision to destroy any documents. The district court judge who approved this settlement expressly stated that she would not condone the unlawful destruction of documents. 

WHERE DO I GO IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Questions regarding making a claim and/or filling out the claims form should be directed to the EEOC at (213)-785-3095 ex. 6 or activisionclaimants@eeoc.gov.

Questions about receiving a claim form or notice, a Claimant ID, or submitting a claim form can be directed to the EEOC (using the contact info above) or the Claims Administrator (Atticus Administration) at 1-888-201-1070 or via e-mail at info@eeocactivisionblizzardconsentdecree.com.

HOW DOES THIS CASE COMPARE TO THE RIOT GAMES CASE?

Every case is different, and the end result in any given case is based on its own merits. The EEOC supports the advancement of civil rights efforts by all of our partners but every case is different and must be assessed accordingly. No attorney can make representations guaranteeing an end result in any given case.