Activision Can’t Get Calif. Civil Rights Watchdog Sanctioned

May 12, 2023

A federal judge rejected Activision Blizzard’s bid for sanctions on California’s civil rights agency for what the company called improper efforts to interfere with its $18 million sex bias settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the state enforcer isn’t bound by that deal.

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer on Wednesday denied Activision’s motion for an order that the California Civil Rights Department, which was formerly called the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, be forced to comply with the consent decree between the gaming company and the EEOC that the court approved last year.

In its March motion, Activision Blizzard argued that the CRD is actively flouting the terms of that agreement by encouraging company employees who participated in the EEOC lawsuit to also seek damages in a separate suit being litigated by the CRD in state court. Both the EEOC and CRD accused Activision Blizzard in their respective suits of unlawfully fostering a sexist workplace culture, though their specific allegations differed somewhat.