California DFEH to Appeal Judge’s Refusal to Interfere with EEOC Settlement Activision Blizzard

In the context: In early 2022, Activision Blizzard is trying to leave behind a year of scandal as it begins to fulfill its agreement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) does its best to ensure that disputes are not resolved.

Last September, Blizzard agreed to a settlement with the EEOC that included a $ 18 million victim assistance fund and measures to end harassment and an end to toxic workplace culture. Even before the settlement, CEO Bobby Kotik began making changes to the company to address issues raised by the EEOC and others.

Less than a month after the ruling, DFEH filed for interference with the settlement, stating that the consent order would free Activision Blizzard from ongoing litigation and potentially open up the possibility for the company to destroy evidence that DFEH could use in its case. He argued that the intervention was necessary to “protect the interests” of the Californian workers, comment on the consent order and request a fair hearing.

District Judge Dale S. Fisher disagreed with the DFEH argument and rejected traffic in December. Judge Fisher ruled that the department was not interested in the consent order. He said the scope of his argument would allow DFEH to “intervene in virtually any California employment action.” Fischer also wrote that he believed his claim that Activision Blizzard was free to destroy evidence was speculative at best. On Friday, the DFEH announced its intention to appeal against Judge Fischer’s order to deny his interference motion (see above).

Activision Blizzard sees no end to the controversy over the workplace scandal. Employees and others have called for CEO Bobby Kotik’s resignation, and many of the company’s long-standing partnerships have been strained. Even seemingly unrelated incidents, such as the company’s decision to fire several temporary quality assurance staff at its Raven Software studio, show negative sentiment. Until now, the board of directors has supported Kotik, allowing him to overcome the negative press and litigation with reduced salaries.

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