A federal judge has stopped California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) from intervening in the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
As reported by Bloomberg Law, Judge Dale S Fischer of the US District Court for the Central District of California said that it was "just not appropriate" for DFEH to intervene in the settlement case. While this isn't the final ruling on the matter, Fischer said that it was "highly unlikely" that she would change her mind.
However, that does not mean that the proposed $18 million settlement between Activision Blizzard and the EEOC is going to be approved. This just means that DFEH isn't allowed to join the case against the US publishing giant.
In September EEOC revealed it had reached a tentative settlement agreement with Activision Blizzard following an investigation into the company's allegedly toxic working culture. This came in the wake of a July lawsuit filed by DFEH into the same subject, with some pretty damning evidence against the Call of Duty maker.
The CWA union's CODE arm has said that the $18 million settlement is not enough, a sentiment shared by one of the victim's lawyers.
The DFEH and EEOC have clashed over the case, with the proposed settlement seemingly harming the former's case against Activision Blizzard. What's more, there is a potential ethics violation in the mix, with EEOC saying that two of the lawyers working on the DFEH suit previously worked for them on its own Activision Blizzard investigation.
This drama has been criticised by Fischer.
“This is a bit unseemly,” she said.
“I feel like I should send the two of you to a mediator, never mind Activision getting involved in this.”