The situation around the harassment investigation at Activision Blizzard is getting more complicated. The California Department of Fair Employment and Placement (DFEH) believes that a peace agreement concluded between a gaming company and one of the federal agencies will harm the lawsuit. At the same time, the Department itself is accused of violating professional ethics.The beginning of the conflict

On October 7, DFEH opposed the settlement of a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Recall that in September, the gaming giant managed to “hush up” the claims of the Commission in its address related to harassment and discrimination in the workplace. To do this, Activision Blizzard has created an $18 million fund to pay affected employees and promised the EEOC to hire an independent observer who will inspect the company over the next three years.

The California authorities did not like the peace agreement. DFEH believes that this will cause “irreparable harm” to the judicial process.

“Such an agreement contains provisions that may lead to the effective destruction and/or falsification of evidence important to the DFEH investigation. Among them are personal files and other documents related to sexual harassment, harassment and discrimination,” the statement says.

DFEH was also dissatisfied with the size of the fund that Activision Blizzard established. According to the California authorities, the EEOC should not have agreed to such a small amount.

EEOC ReactionOn October 8, the EEOC issued a response statement against the actions of the California authorities.

The main claim is a violation of professional ethics.

This is due to the fact that the two lawyers leading the DFEH case used to work for the EEOC and participated in the investigation against Activision Blizzard. It was his results that led to the conclusion of a peace agreement, which is now opposed by DFEH.

It is worth noting that DFEH is a California department, while EEOC is a federal agency. Both bodies act independently of each other. However, the actions of lawyers violate the California State Law on Professional Activity. This creates a conflict of interest.

The EEOC said it was taken aback by the scale of the claims made in the DFEH lawsuit. She also suggested dividing the areas of investigation between the two bodies: the Commission itself will deal with the problem of harassment, and the California authorities will study the issues of salaries and career growth at Activision Blizzard.

It is not yet known how the conflict between the two authorities will end. However, it certainly complicates the situation for the judges — both in terms of approving the peace agreement between Activision Blizzard and EEOC, and in terms of further litigation on the DFEH lawsuit.

Recall that the Activision Blizzard scandal broke out in July. Then the California authorities sued the company, accusing it of harassment and discrimination against women. In September, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its own investigation into Activision Blizzard.

The situation has led to numerous protests and personnel reshuffles. In August, Blizzard president Jay Allen Brack resigned from his post, and a little later the game director of Diablo IV and the senior game designer of World of Warcraft were fired from the company.