Activi­sion Bliz­zard announced on Mon­day it has reached an agree­ment to set­tle the US Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion’s law­suit, alleg­ing gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion and harass­ment with­in the com­pa­ny. Part of deal requires Activi­sion Bliz­zard to cre­ate an $18 mil­lion fund to  “com­pen­sate and make amends to eli­gi­ble claimants.”

Any funds that go unused will be giv­en to a num­ber of char­i­ties that pro­mote women in the video game indus­try, improve diver­si­ty, equi­ty, and inclu­siv­i­ty efforts.

There is no place any­where at our com­pa­ny for dis­crim­i­na­tion, harass­ment, or unequal treat­ment of any kind, and I am grate­ful to the employ­ees who brave­ly shared their expe­ri­ences,” Activi­sion Bliz­zard CEO Robert Kotick said in a state­ment. “I am sor­ry that any­one had to expe­ri­ence inap­pro­pri­ate con­duct, and I remain unwa­ver­ing in my com­mit­ment to make Activi­sion Bliz­zard one of the world’s most inclu­sive, respect­ed, and respect­ful workplaces.”

We will con­tin­ue to be vig­i­lant in our com­mit­ment to the elim­i­na­tion of harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion in the work­place. We thank the EEOC for its con­struc­tive engage­ment as we work to ful­fill our com­mit­ments to erad­i­cate inap­pro­pri­ate con­duct in the workplace.”

Of course, Activi­sion Bliz­zard denied any wrong­do­ing, but agreed to the set­tle­ment to the avoid any “expense, dis­trac­tion, and pos­si­ble litigation.”

Activi­sion Bliz­zard’s full state­ment says:

Defen­dants express­ly deny that they sub­ject­ed any indi­vid­ual or group of indi­vid­u­als to sex­u­al harass­ment, preg­nan­cy dis­crim­i­na­tion and/or relat­ed retal­i­a­tion, deny all alle­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing, lia­bil­i­ty, dam­ages and enti­tle­ment to oth­er relief set forth in the Action whether aris­ing under Title VII or anal­o­gous state and local laws, deny any group or sys­temic dis­crim­i­na­tion or harass­ment, and deny that any of their poli­cies and pro­ce­dures are inad­e­quate. How­ev­er, the Par­ties rec­og­nize that through this Decree the Par­ties can avoid the expense, dis­trac­tion and pos­si­ble lit­i­ga­tion asso­ci­at­ed with such a dis­pute and thus the Par­ties wish to resolve all issues through this Decree.”

The deal is not yet con­crete, as the court still need to make its approval.

Activi­sion Bliz­zard is also com­mit­ted to the following:

  • Upgrad­ing poli­cies, prac­tices, and train­ing to fur­ther pre­vent and elim­i­nate harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion in its work­places, includ­ing imple­ment­ing an expand­ed per­for­mance review sys­tem with a new equal oppor­tu­ni­ty focus;
  • Pro­vid­ing ongo­ing over­sight and review of the Company’s train­ing pro­grams, inves­ti­ga­tion poli­cies, dis­ci­pli­nary frame­work and com­pli­ance by appoint­ing a third-par­ty equal oppor­tu­ni­ty con­sul­tant whose find­ings will be reg­u­lar­ly report­ed to our Board of Direc­tors as well as the Commission.

Activi­sion Bliz­zard also announced that it will hire a “neu­tral, third-par­ty equal employ­ment consultant”–who will be approved by the EEOC–to over­look Activi­sion Bliz­zard’s com­pli­ance. Addi­tion­al­ly, Activi­sion Bliz­zard stat­ed it will hire some­one with expe­ri­ence in “gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, harass­ment, and relat­ed retal­i­a­tion to assist [Activi­sion Blizzard].…”

Activi­sion Bliz­zard’s fund deal with the EEOC will be in place for three years when­ev­er it begins. You can see the full terms of the agree­ment here.

This all start­ed ear­li­er this year when the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Fair Employ­ment and Hous­ing sued the com­pa­ny for sex­u­al harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion against women. Activi­sion Bliz­zard is also fac­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion from the SEC.