CWA Files Objection to Proposed Amended Consent Decree on Behalf of Activision Blizzard Employees, Demands Full Fairness Hearing
(Oakland, CA) — On Thursday the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and a former Activision Blizzard employee requested the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hold a full fairness hearing to allow any objectors to fully explain their objections, calling the proposed amended consent decree “woefully inadequate.”
Last September Activision Blizzard announced a settlement with the EEOC for $18 million after the state of California filed a civil-rights complaint alleging sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees. The proposed settlement sum would mean that no more than 60 workers could receive the maximum settlement allowed—leaving well more than 10,000 potential workers without the compensation they are owed.
Furthermore, EEOC standards for settlements, even with the limitations imposed by the former-Trump administration regarding consent decrees, require communication with employees who are affected prior to the Commission seeking judicial approval for a settlement. However in this case, impacted employees were not consulted prior to the agreement of the proposed amended consent decree.
Despite the documented patterns of sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination, the proposed amended consent decree would also absolve Activision Blizzard of any moral or legal responsibility for their action over what is alleged to have been more than five years of misconduct.
“Last year the EEOC failed to adequately protect workers when they opted to settle prematurely with Activision Blizzard for a paltry $18 million for all employees since September 1, 2016. To add insult to injury, to be eligible for the EEOC settlements, affected workers would first be required to release Activision Blizzard from any claims under state law. Workers who have suffered from years of toxic workplace misconduct at the hands of Activision Blizzard should not have to give up rights under California state law to receive compensation from this company's history of wrongdoing,” Sara Steffens, CWA Secretary Treasurer said. “The victims of Activision’s workplace harassment should be allowed the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed settlement through the court holding a routine fairness hearing. These claims make it blatantly obvious that the EEOC's poor choices are allowing Activision Blizzard free range to make all types of ostentatious objections, instead of having them actually deal with the issues at hand - the rampant sexual harassment and discrimination of their employees,” she continued.
Read the full filing here.