Riot Games has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by former employees in November 2018 alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. the League of Legends The publisher was only going to pay $10 million per initial settlement in 2019, but the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has taken to court to block the agreement. The agency said $10 million was too small, and the women suing the company could be worth up to $400 million.
The lawsuit was originally filed by Melanie McCracken and Jess Negron after a Kotaku report It revealed the developers’ company culture of “men first” and “bro”. In the report, Kotaku Detailed employee experiences within the company, such as cases of “genital grab” and senior leaders passing lists of employees they might sleep with. A former employee who left the company because of gender discrimination said working at Riot was like “working in a giant fraternity.”
Under the terms of the settlement, $80 million will go to class action members, while $20 million will go to the plaintiffs’ legal fees. All California employees and contractors identified as women who worked at Riot from November 2014 to the present day are eligible for compensation. Those who have been with the company longer will get a greater share of the new workers. And there are a lot of newer employees – while only about 1,000 workers were eligible for compensation in 2019, there are now about 2,300 qualified employees. The developer said in a statement Washington Post:
“Three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what has become a computation in our industry. We had to confront the fact that despite our best intentions, we had not always lived up to our values. As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologize, and correct Track, build better riots. We chose the latter… While we’re proud of where we’ve come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past. We hope this settlement will properly acknowledge those who have had negative experiences at Riot.”
In addition to the $100 million payment, Riot Games is also required to hire an outside expert to perform a “gender/gender analysis of total compensation and hiring and promotion outcomes for California employees.” Riot must also allow for pay transparency and it will have to be monitored by a third party, which will monitor things like HR complaints and pay equity, for a period of three years. The screen will be able to recommend changes that Riot can make to the company.
Jenny Harrison, a women’s rights attorney who represented the plaintiffs, said in a statement:
“This is a great day for the women at Riot Games – and for women across all video game and technology companies – who deserve a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. We appreciate Riot’s introspection and its work since 2018 toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive company, its willingness to take responsibility for its past, and its commitment to Together with DFEH and DLSE, the brave women of Riot who carried the torch of justice achieved an earlier result as a beacon to other women and as a warning that employers get better pay and treat women fairly or they will be held accountable.”
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