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Judge approves Activision Blizzard’s $18 million harassment settlement

The company’s settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been approved

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A judge has approved Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The two organizations had announced the settlement in September, but it is now being signed after California state regulators had tried to intervene.

Activision Blizzard has been under intense scrutiny since California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a harassment lawsuit in July alleging the company fostered a culture of “constant sexual harassment.” As part of the consent decree, Activision Blizzard will establish an $18 million settlement fund which will be used to compensate victims of harassment and discrimination. Employees who have worked at the company between September 1st, 2016 and Tuesday, March 29th, can submit a claim for “for sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation.”

In addition, Activision Blizzard will require all “supervisory employees” to attend trainings on harassment and discrimination and will expand mental health resources available to employees. The decree, which was approved by Judge Dale S. Fischer on Tuesday, will remain in effect for three years. You can read the full document here or embedded at the bottom of this article.

The DFEH had asserted that the consent decree could potentially harm its case against Activision Blizzard (which is ongoing) and attempted to intervene. That included requesting a stay in the case, which Judge Fischer denied. In a hearing on Tuesday, the DFEH signaled that it plans to appeal the consent decree.

“The agreement we reached with the EEOC last year reflected our unwavering commitment to ensure a safe and equitable working environment for all employees,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a press release. “Our goal is to make Activision Blizzard a model for the industry, and we will continue to focus on eliminating harassment and discrimination from our workplace. The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have mechanisms for recourse if they experienced any form of harassment or retaliation.”

Disclosure: Casey Wasserman is on the board of directors for Activision Blizzard as well as the board of directors of Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.