Riot Games settle class action lawsuit alleging harassment and discrimination

L: Chris Yunker, R: Unsplash

League of Legends developer Riot Games have settled a class action lawsuit filed by female employees who alleged they were harassed and discriminated against while working for the company.

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The lawsuit was initiated in November 2018 and alleged that workers were subjected to sexism and harassment, and that the company was also in violation of the California Equal Pay act.

The suit was filed in the wake of a report by Kotaku in August 2018 that detailed the culture inside the company, with multiple current and former employees sharing their experiences.

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Riot have now announced that they have agreed a settlement, which remains to be approved by the court. Neither party has revealed details of the settlement.

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Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent commented on the agreement in a statement:

“We are grateful for every Rioter who has come forward with their concerns and believe this resolution is fair for everyone involved. With this agreement, we are honoring our commitment to find the best and most expedient way for all Rioters, and Riot, to move forward and heal. Over the past year, we’ve made substantial progress toward evolving our culture and will continue to pursue this work as we strive to be the most inclusive company in gaming.”

Chris YunkerRiot Games have come under much criticism over the last year for their company culture.
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Ryan Saba of Rosen Saba, LLP, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, also said:

“This is a very strong settlement agreement that provides meaningful and fair value to class members for their experiences at Riot Games. This is a clear indication that Riot is dedicated to making progress in evolving its culture and employment practices. A number of significant changes to the corporate culture have been made, including increased transparency and industry-leading diversity and inclusion programs. The many Riot employees who spoke up, including the plaintiffs, significantly helped to change the culture at Riot.”

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This isn’t the only law suit that has been filed against Riot Games, with two individual employees also filing for wrongful termination and sexual harassment in late 2018. Riot’s attempts to force arbitration in these cases were met with further backlash, with employees staging a walk-out in protest in May 2019.

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Twitter: EvergreenilyRiot employees staged a walkout in protest of forced arbitration.

Riot have not given in to pressure on the ongoing cases, and in July the court ruled to allow forced arbitration in one of them. The request to take the other case to the court rather than arbitration is still being argued.

The organizers of the walkout also made a statement regarding the announcement of the settlement.

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“Settling this class action is a victory for women in games. We believe that this and Riot’s policy changes help continue the progress towards equity that we’ve made over the past year,” the statement reads. “This decision was made because of the hard work on the part of not only plaintiffs and their lawyers, but all of the people at Riot brave enough to fight against injustice in the workplace. We are proud to work with everyone who has collectively contributed making this happen.”

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Riot have committed to taking steps to improve the culture within the company and address the issues that have come to light over the last year, and recently gave an update on the progress being made.