EEOC Came Down Hard on Employer That Discriminated/Harassed/Retaliated Against Employees
EEOC Came Down Hard on Employer
That Discriminated/Harassed/Retaliated Against Employees
$18 million. That’s what video game publisher Activision Blizzard must pay in settlement of employee claims that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” – the Federal Government) pursued on behalf of the employees for sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. Activision not only has to pay the $18 million, but as part of the settlement, the EEOC required the company to take specific steps to ensure there is no more workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The company agreed to “injunctive relief” to:
- •audit complaints to determine the effectiveness of the internal complaint-resolution processes;
- •unannounced audits of current employees to assess whether sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and related retaliation issues are being addressed properly;
- •hire an equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) consultant to oversee and review company policies and procedures for handling employee complaints;
- •ensure employees get anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training, including on bystander intervention and general civility;
- •train its HR employees on workplace investigations;
- •implement disciplinary procedures to ensure effective corrective and preventive measures;
- •add EEO to performance review of managers, supervisors, HR reps, and
- •maintain accurate and comprehensive records and reporting.
Activision must still deal with the State of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) equal pay and fair employment claims brought on behalf of the employees regarding sexual harassment (including groping, comments, and advances) and pregnancy discrimination that Activision’s managers and HR reps failed to address, including retaliation against the female workers who complained. While Activision likely will settle that action too and now seeks to turn the tide and be a model employer, it cost the company a lot to get there. Don’t make the same mistakes.
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