Riot Games to Pay Out $10 Million in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
Riot Games, publisher of League of Legends, will pay at least $10 million as part of the settlement in a class action lawsuit on gender-based discrimination. The lawsuit was settled in August, but new court documents have revealed the details of the settlement.As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a Riot spokesperson said, “We’re pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent.”The Los Angeles Times reported that the money will go to women employees who have worked at Riot Games over the last five years. The approximately 1,000 female-identifying employees who worked at Riot between November 2014 and the time the settlement is complete will be eligible to receive a part of the settlement. Just how much each current or former employee receives will be determined in part by how long they worked at Riot Games and whether they were full-time or worked under a contract.(Update: This article previously stated that women employees would have the chance to self-identify as female to receive part of the settlement. We’ve updated the article for clarity.)The lawsuit against Riot began in November 2018 when two Riot Games employees, one current and one former, sued the company for, “endemic gender-based discrimination and fostering a ‘men-first’ environment.” The class-action lawsuit said Riot Games was fostering a “sexually-hostile working environment,” and accused the company of violating California’s Equal Pay Act.This came after an investigation from Kotaku reported on the alleged culture of sexism at Riot Games. The company released a response to Kotaku’s report in August 2018, three months before the lawsuit, which included the statement, “We have a zero tolerance policy on discrimination, harassment, retaliation, bullying, and general toxicity.” The response was widely criticized, however, for not directly addressing some of the main issues found in Kotaku’s report.Earlier this year in May, Riot Games employees staged a walkout to protest Forced Arbitration, which prevents employees from filing a lawsuit in the event of a dispute. Riot Games employees in Dublin, Ireland joined their Los Angeles team members with a walkout of their own.When the lawsuit was settled earlier this year, a spokesperson from the Riot Walkout group said the result brought “peace of mind” to women employees at Riot Games, but that the issues at the company go beyond gender, and that the group wants to recognize “the victims who aren’t covered in the suit.”
Logan Plant is a writer for IGN, and the Production Assistant for Nintendo Voice Chat, IGN’s weekly Nintendo show. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant.