After years of investigation, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in July. The lawsuit revolved around “violation of the national civil rights and equal pay law”, especially regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups in companies.
Soon after the incident came to light, Game informant Got a Copy of letter Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was sent to the entire company. In this letter, he stated, “We will do everything possible to ensure that we work together to improve and build an inclusive workplace that is vital to fostering creativity and inspiration,” among other commitments.
In September, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was investigating some of the key figures in Activision Blizzard, including Kotick, a new separate report on the ongoing Activision Blizzard lawsuit came to light. The report also revealed that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been investigating the company since September 2018.
On September 27, Activision Blizzard and EEOC reached an agreement in the form of a consent order to resolve the dispute between the two parties without admitting responsibility. Essentially a settlement (though still subject to court approval), the agreement will make Activision Blizzard pay $18 million.
The California Department of Employment and Housing subsequently objected to the settlement on the grounds that it would “result in the’effective destruction’ of evidence vital to its case and cause’irreparable harm’ to its litigation”, passed Computer game playerIn essence, if the settlement between Activision Blizzard and EEOC is passed, then Activision Blizzard will be legally allowed to seal (see: Destruction) evidence that was detrimental to the settlement. California’s DFEH hopes to go to court. Evidence of a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
DFEH asked the court to give more time before approving the settlement between Activision Blizzard and EEOC. The extra time will give DFEH an opportunity to show the court why the settlement might harm its lawsuit against the game publisher.
Now, EEOC unexpectedly opposes DFEH’s appeal on the settlement it reached with Activision Blizzard, with Key points memo, According to reports Computer game playerAmong these points, there is a key message that caused trouble for DFEH’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
The following are three points used by the EEOC to appeal DFEH’s objections to its lawsuit:
- “DFEH Attorneys 1 and 2 are former [redacted] EEOC helped lead the EEOC investigation of Activision. ”
- “The California Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit and continue to prohibit DFEH attorneys 1 and 2 and any DFEH attorney from representing DFEH in these intervention procedures.”
- “This court should prohibit DFEH’s intervention motion because it is a product of the prohibition of representation, and should prohibit DFEH lawyers from providing work results or advice to current lawyers related to these litigations.”
Essentially, on these three points, EEOC believes that DFEH’s objections should be ignored because the two lawyers who previously worked for EEOC are cooperating with DFEH to investigate Activision Blizzard (which resulted in a $18 million settlement agreement) to help them Filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
The following are the introduction points from the EEOC call:
“[Two] DFEH Attorney-Play a leadership role within the organization-formerly served as EEOC [redacted] Who helped guide the EEOC Ombudsman’s allegation against Activision Blizzard, Inc. No. 480-2018-05212. These lawyers then continued to handle these intervention procedures on behalf of DFEH, which tried to oppose the extraordinary investigations they helped to guide during the EEOC. California Code of Professional Conduct 1.11(a)(2) prohibits such representation, and because DFEH failed to screen individual lawyers, all DFEH lawyers are blamed for this conflict under California Code of Professional Conduct 1.11(b).
After learning of the conflict, DFEH hired a new lawyer, but appeared to have filed a current intervention motion several hours after the lawyer was hired, strongly suggesting that the motion was a product of a ban on representation. For this reason, intervention proposals should be prohibited, and DFEH lawyers should be prohibited from providing new lawyers with work results or suggestions related to these intervention procedures. ”
It is particularly important that EEOC not only requires that the two lawyers who appear to be violating California law be prohibited from submitting objections, but also that all attorneys in the DFEH legal department are prohibited from submitting objections to Activision Blizzard-EEOC. If the court approves the EEOC’s appeal against DFEH’s objections, then DFEH’s entire move to stop the $18 million settlement may be blocked. If this happens, DFEH may not be able to obtain the key evidence it needs in the case against Activision Blizzard.
As you may have seen from all of this, the EEOC’s appeal may severely affect DFEH’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. It is unclear whether this will happen at this point-it depends on the court-but for DFEH to move forward, things may become very tricky. Only time will give the answer.
[Source: PC Gamer]