Today in federal court, a judge said she will deny the state of California’s attempt to intervene in the $18 million settlement between Activision Blizzard and the EEOC, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The denial prevents the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing from joining the EEOC’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in order to oppose the consent decree that accompanies the creation of an $18 million settlement fund. The DFEH filed the objection in October, stating that the consent decree would harm the state’s case against Activision Blizzard, asserting the decree could, among other adverse outcomes, potentially allow for the destruction of evidence necessary to the state’s case or release the company from state claims.
The EEOC and the DFEH have been at odds over their respective cases against Activision Blizzard. In October, Activision Blizzard filed a stay against the DFEH lawsuit claiming some of the lawyers involved in the state’s case should be disqualified based on conflict of interest rules. Activision Blizzard filed this stay after the EEOC brought this conflict of interest information to its attention, which was notably after the DFEH objected to the EEOC’s consent decree and settlement. In Bloomberg’s report, the judge brought up this spat between the two public offices, calling it “unseemly.”
Though the DFEH will not be allowed to object to the consent decree, that doesn’t mean the judge will allow the $18 million price tag to remain. In a press conference last week, celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom, on behalf of one of Activision Blizzard’s victims, said the settlement was “woefully inadequate” and asked for an increased fund of at least $100 million.
The EEOC and Activision Blizzard will submit clarifications on the consent decree to the court in January. The state of California will have the opportunity to submit comments, and a formal ruling on the decree should come soon after.