Riot Games, the company behind games like League of Legends and Valorant, will pay out a total of $ 80 million, plus an additional $ 20 million in fees and expenses, following a global settlement agreement with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) , California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and several private plaintiffs to settle their gender discrimination lawsuit as of 2018.
Under the agreement, Riot will pay $ 80 million to all current and former full-time and temporary employment agencies in California who identify as women and have been with the company from November 2014 to date. The other $ 20 million will be used for “legal fees and other expenses.”
In addition, Riot has agreed to have its internal reporting and pay justice processes monitored by a third-party company approved by Riot and the DFEH for three years.
The final approval of this settlement by the court is currently pending, a hearing is to take place in the “coming months”.
“Three years ago, Riot was at the center of what became billing in our industry,” said a spokesman for Riot. “We had to face the fact that, despite our best intentions, we had not always lived up to our values. As a company, we were at a crossroads; we could deny the inadequacies of our culture or apologize, correct course, and build a better riot. We chose the latter.
“We are incredibly grateful to every Rioter who has worked to create a culture in which inclusivity is the norm, in which we are deeply committed to fairness and equality and in which diversity promotes creativity and innovation.
“While we are proud of how far we have come since 2018, we also have to take responsibility for the past. We hope this deal appropriately recognizes those who have had negative experiences at Riot and shows our desire to be by example to go ahead and do more. ” Accountability and equality to the gaming industry. “
In this case, Riot Games will be represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, while the plaintiffs in the group will be represented by Genie Harrison Law APC and JML Law APLC. Genius Harrison also made a statement saying it was a great day not just for the women at Riot Games, but everyone in the games and technology industries who deserve a workplace free from harassment and discrimination.
“This is a great day for the women at Riot Games – and women in all video game and technology companies – who deserve a workplace that is harassment and discrimination free,” said Harrison. “We appreciate Riot’s introspection and work since 2018 on the path to becoming a more diverse and inclusive company, his willingness to take responsibility for his past and his commitment to fairness and equality in the future.”
As mentioned earlier, this settlement is the gender discrimination lawsuit that was subsequently filed in 2018 a report from Kotaku That revealed the sexist culture that had become prevalent at Riot Games.
Kotaku spoke to 28 current and former employees who had to do with a “brotherly culture” that “in some cases rewards behaviors that discriminate against women”.
Jessica Negron, one of the two plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said she went through a situation where her manager resigned and she assumed all of her responsibilities but saw no increase in compensation for changing job titles. Three men were hired for her even though she did speak up, and she wasn’t even interviewed or discussed the role.
Melanie McCracken, the other plaintiff in the case, alleged, after discussing her experience of the company’s sexist culture, “Human Resources failed to keep the meeting confidential and passed the information on to their manager.” In 2015 she took on a new position, a year later her former supervisor was promoted to a managerial position. McCracken was then told that she was “given a five month countdown to find a new position to be ‘fired'”.
In 2019, Riot Games was sentenced to pay at least $ 10 million as part of a settlement for the lawsuit, but the DFEH stepped in and blocked the agreement, stating that up to $ 400 million should be paid to these victims .
In 2021, Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent was sued on allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Riot’s investigation found no evidence to support these allegations, and this particular settlement does not cover this separate case.
Do you have a tip for us? Would you like to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to email@example.com.