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Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement in EEOC sexual harassment case becomes official

In context: This week, a judge approved an $18 million settlement Activision Blizzard reached with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year. It settles one of the multiple sexual harassment lawsuits brought against it for its “frat-boy culture.” The company is still on the hook for others as it tries to emerge from a year of scandal and complete its acquisition by Microsoft.

The EEOC was one of several organizations that brought claims against Activision Blizzard last year, accusing the company of sexually harassing and discriminating against its female employees. The $18 million settlement was reached with the commission last September and has now been signed by US District Judge Dale S Fischer, making it official.

The judgment means that anyone who worked at Activision Blizzard since September of 2016 can submit a claim to join the settlement, as long as it relates to sexual harassment or gender discrimination. However, employees who wish to file claims over pay discrimination can alternately join the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit, which started last July and is ongoing.

Overlap between the two cases caused some conflict between the two agencies last fall when the DEFH tried to intervene in the EEOC settlement, fearing it would release Activision from the DEFH’s case. Judge Fischer disagreed, denying the intervention in January.

Last week, employees opened another sexual harassment lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. Even with the official closure of the EEOC case, the company’s legal troubles are far from over.

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