Riot Games settle historic gender discrimination lawsuit for $100 million
Riot Games has settled a historic gender-based discrimination lawsuit three years after a range of sexual harassment allegations were brought to light, with the gaming publisher agreeing to payout $100 million to female employees.
League of Legends and Valorant publisher Riot Games has finally settled a lawsuit initially filed in November 2018 by former employees in light of workplace harassment and sexual discrimination.
After years of ongoing legal battles, $100m is now set to be paid out to 1,065 female employees and 1,300 contract workers, the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) announced on December 27.
This fee is 10x greater than the amount previously settled on in 2019. After the DFEH blocked the initial agreement, claiming victims should be paid as much as $400m instead, the new sum of $100m was confirmed two years later.
As a result of the settlement, all current and former Riot employees out of California – whether full-time or contractors – that identify as women are entitled to a payout.
Roughly $80m of the full sum is to be distributed accordingly. Meanwhile, the remaining $20m will cover legal expenses.
On top of the nine-figure payment, Riot Games must also be monitored by a third party. Over the next three years, an independent body will oversee how the company functions. This group will directly observe the publisher in action to assure employees of all genders are treated and paid fairly.
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“We want to acknowledge that the timing of this announcement isn’t ideal,” an email from Riot executives read, according to reports from The Washington Post.
“The final details of the agreement came together quickly. We wanted you to hear about it from us directly rather than read about it in the news while on break.”
Both Riot Games and the claimants have signed the December agreement, though the settlement must still be approved in court. A date has not yet been agreed upon for this final hearing.
This announcement comes in the same calendar year as Riot’s own CEO was under investigation following a separate Los Angeles lawsuit in light of further gender-discrimination claims.