Outten & Golden Represents the California Civil Rights Department in CRD v. Activision Blizzard, and Historic $54.875 Million Gender Discrimination Settlement

Outten & Golden LLP
February 14, 2024

The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) recently achieved a historic $54.875 million settlement with Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest interactive gaming companies. The agreement, which followed almost three years of intense litigation by CRD lawyers and Outten & Golden as their counsel, resolved allegations of sex-based discrimination in compensation and promotions; constructive discharge; retaliation; inappropriate or offensive conduct; and failure to prevent sex-based discrimination.

Since 2021, Outten & Golden has represented CRD in prosecuting Activision Blizzard for alleged violations of California’s Equal Pay Act and Fair Employment and Housing Act – key civil rights laws that protect Californians against discrimination.  Working collaboratively, CRD and Outten & Golden litigated the historic lawsuit, which resulted in CRD’s achievement of the $54.875 million settlement.  We understand that this settlement is the second largest employment discrimination settlement achieved by the State of California in its history.

The agreement provides significant relief:

  • Monetary relief for victims.  A $45.75 million settlement fund will be used to compensate female Activision Blizzard employees and contract workers who worked for the company between October 12, 2015, and December 31, 2020.
  • Forward looking injunctive relief.  For a three-year monitoring period, Activision has committed to ensure fair employment practices by, among other things, updating hiring and compensation-setting processes, continuing its recruitment and retention efforts, reviewing training materials, and disclosing to applicants their rights to communicate with the government and pursue legal action. A consultant selected jointly by Activision and CRD will prepare annual reports with evaluations and recommendations for improvements.  The consultant will report progress to CRD, and CRD will have the opportunity to work with Activision on effective practices.
  • Fees and costs.  Activision will separately pay $9.125 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.