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Riot Games Set to Pay $100m Settlement in Discrimination Case

Riot Games, well known for League of Legends, has agreed to pay $100 million (£74.3 million) to resolve a gender discrimination class-action lawsuit filed in 2018.

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the settlement would “remedy breaches against roughly 1,065 women employees and 1,300 women contract workers.”

According to the DFEH, the company engaged in “systemic sex discrimination and harassment.”

Riot Games stated that it must “account for the past.”

The corporation will pay $80 million (£59 million) to class-action plaintiffs, plus around $20 million (£15 million) in legal fees.

The Los Angeles Times and the news website Kotaku investigated the case in 2018.

Riot was accused of encouraging a “bro culture” in the original complaint against the corporation, which included a number of claims.

Ladies had been sexually objectified, according to an email exchange that evaluated the company’s “hottest women employees,” and supervisors and coworkers had given staff unsolicited photographs of male genitalia.

Riot committed to workplace improvements, an independent expert review of its pay, recruiting, and promotion procedures, and three years of monitoring for sexual harassment and “retaliation” at its California headquarters as part of the deal.

In addition, the corporation must put aside $18 million (13.2 million) to support diversity, equality, and inclusion programs, as well as establish 40 full-time positions for former contract employees in engineering, quality assurance, or art design.

If the settlement is approved by the court, it would “convey the message that all companies in California, including the gambling sector, must provide fair pay and environments free of discrimination and harassment,” according to DFEH Director Kevin Kish.

The DFEH and another agency had stopped the arrangement, claiming that the sum to which victims were entitled was substantially larger. Riot had first agreed to settle the matter for $10 million in 2019, but the DFEH and another agency had blocked the deal.

“While we’re pleased of how far we’ve gone since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past,” the business told the Washington Post, adding, “While we’re glad of how far we’ve come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past.”

“We trust that this agreement adequately recognizes people who had bad experiences at Riot.”

Riot’s leadership team said the settlement was “the correct thing to do, for both the firm and those whose experiences at Riot fell short of our standards and values,” in a message to employees published online.

Since 2018, the firm has made improvements across the board, including appointing its first chief people officer and chief diversity officer, rewriting its principles, instituting new training programs, and expanding its diversity and inclusion team, according to reporters.

Riot Games isn’t the only well-known gaming company dealing with workplace culture issues.

Activision Blizzard, the firm behind World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty, is also being investigated by the DFEH.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Activision Blizzard recently negotiated a $18 million (£13.2 million) settlement over charges of sexual discrimination and harassment.

Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson is a business journalist, with over a decade of experience in the trenches of reporting up-to-date business news for publications all over the world. With a wealth of knowledge at his back, Bob strives to bring the most important insights into the business world for TheOptic daily.
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