Video game developer Activision Blizzard failed to maintain “adequate” workplace harassment reporting procedures. And violated federal whistleblower protection rules. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday. Agreeing to settle for $35 million over the charges.
The SEC claimed that employee complaints were not collected or analyzed as required. By regulations on public disclosure of allegations of workplace misconduct. “Furthermore, taking steps to prevent former employees from communicating .
With Commission staff about potential securities law violations. It is illegal. Said SEC Director Jason Burt.
An investigation focused on Activision Blizzard’s standards from 2018 to 2021.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of reports of alleged sexual misconduct. Including alleged rape. At the company, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2021.
“Mr. Kotick will not be notified of every report of misconduct. At every Activision Blizzard company. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said at the time.
The SEC filing claims that Activision Blizzard requires. A “significant number” of departing employees. Who have signed severance agreements. To notify Activision Blizzard if regulators.; Try to contact them. Or if those employees want to make their own complaints. Activision Blizzard’s need that former employees notify the company of violations of. Federal whistleblower protections, the SEC claims.
The SEC order does not mention sexual. Harassment claims by Kotick or some employees. Activision Blizzard has been under SEC investigation into the company’s handling of sexual.
“As the order recognizes, we have improved our disclosure processes about workplace reports. And updated the language in our severance agreement. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said Friday.
The company settled an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation. In March 2022 for $18 million over claims related. To sexual harassment claims of retaliation.
In December 2022, the Federal Trade Commission moved. To block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. Which had been announced in January of that year. Claiming that the deal would violate federal antitrust laws.