The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (“EEOC”) alleged that Activision Blizzard engaged in unlawful employment practices by subjecting certain employees to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC entered into a settlement with Activision Blizzard that provides monetary relief for eligible claimants and injunctive remedies that Activision Blizzard will implement to prevent and combat gender discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?
If you were employed by Activision Blizzard, Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Activision Publishing, Inc., King.com, Inc., or their respective subsidiaries at any time in the United States between September 1, 2016 and March 29, 2022 and believe you were subjected to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation during your employment, you may be eligible to receive money from the settlement.
WHAT IS THE EEOC?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or “EEOC” is a United States government agency charged with enforcing the federal laws against discrimination and harassment in employment. The EEOC brought this government enforcement action in response to an anonymous complaint on its own initiative as a Commissioner’s Charge. The case asserts there were instances of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and related retaliation and was filed as part of the Commission’s mission to defend the public interest in the enforcement of federal civil rights law nationwide.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
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.
Participation is completely voluntary and submitting a Claim Form does not 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.
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 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 and offered.
WHAT IF I AM ALLOCATED AN AWARD BUT I DO NOT WANT TO ACCEPT IT?
Accepting a monetary award to settle and release your sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and related retaliation claims against Activision Blizzard is completely voluntary. If you decide you do not want to accept an award, you do not have to do so.
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 who have agreed to discuss the effect of releasing any claims to accept a monetary award the EEOC determines you should be offered; they 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 an attorney of your choice. You will not be required to communicate with Activision Blizzard or their attorneys at any time. Activision Blizzard and their attorneys will not be allowed to be present during your consultation.
ONCE IT IS DETERMINED THAT I SHOULD 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 applicable, remove from your personnel file any references to your allegations of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation or determined by the EEOC to be related to such allegations.
• Handle work inquiries/confirmation for you through their established third-party vendor neutral reference process.
• If applicable, reclassify your termination to voluntary resignation if you have been identified by the EEOC as being subjected to retaliation.
• If applicable, 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?
IS THERE OTHER 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 in order to move forward with a clean record. 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 be entitled to as a former employee is to have your termination re-categorized as a voluntary resignation. This may help you seek future employment. Again, 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.
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 feeling 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.