The Communications Workers Of America union (CWA) have filed an objection to the proposed settlement between Activision Blizzard and the USA's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As part of the settlement to this, one of several current legal battles, ActiBliz have agreed to create an $18 million fund for those who experienced harm from "sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation". But the CWA says there are "a number of serious deficiencies" with the agreement, and are requesting a fairness hearing to address them.
Last month, the CWA joined with a group of Activision Blizzard employees to file charges of unfair labour practices against the company, accusing them of "intimidation and union busting". All of this followed California's Department Of Fair Employment And Housing (DFEH) suing ActiBliz for allegedly fostering a culture of discrimination, harrassment, and retaliation.
In a new filing spotted by GamesIndustry.biz, the CWA have pointed out a number of concerns with the EEOC's settlement. For example, they want to know why workers weren't consulted about it, who counts as an "eligible claimant", and why the DFEH weren't involved.
The declare that the settlement amount of $18 million is "woefully inadequate", because "this would provide the maximum settlement for only 60 workers". They'd like the EEOC to explain how they landed on that number, and how it would be fairly distributed.
The CWA are also concerned that the EEOC could ask employees who receive settlement money to sign a waiver or release, and want to check if this would only cover that specific lawsuit, and not waive claims that could affect other cases.
Most other points ask for more clarification on exactly what the EEOC mean in various clauses of the proposed settlement. In one, the EEOC talk about protecting claimant confidentiality, which the CWA are concerned could "prohibit employees from talking about unlawful conduct, harassment and investigations among themselves". The CWA would also like to to see any documentation that will be used for claims, so they can have input on it.
The DFEH also objected to this settlement last week, claiming it would cause "irreparable harm" to their own lawsuit. Unfortunately, this objection brought to light that two of the lawyers working on the case for the DFEH had previously worked at the EEOC investigating Activision Blizzard, breaching California law and causing a potential conflict of interest. The EEOC want this objection denied, and the two lawyers to be barred from further Activision Blizzard proceedings.