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Game studio agrees to pay $10M for gender discrimination

Approximately 1,000 past and current female employees of Riot Games are set to recover a portion of the $10M Riot agreed to pay as part of a settlement in a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination. The employees and Riot have agreed to the settlement and it currently awaits court approval.

According to the lawsuit, Riot was encouraging a 'men-first' culture, where employees regularly engaged in various inappropriate behaviors, such as crotch-grabbing, sending unsolicited pictures of male genitalia, and ranking female employees based on appearance. Riot allegedly would retaliate against women who spoke out against the harassment by denying them promotions, refusing them raises or equal pay, or taking other adverse action.

The Los Angeles game studio behind one of the highest earning games in the world, "League of Legends," was the subject of an article by Kotaku, a games website, in which employees of Riot described the problematic workplace environment at the studio. The lawsuit was initiated in November 2018, after two female employees filed a claim against Riot for violations of the California Equal Pay Act. The women claimed they were sexually harassed and discriminated against because of their gender on a regular basis while working for the company.

In addition to the $10M payout, the settlement also details Riot's plans to improve the workplace environment. Riot agreed to start a number of programs within the company to make it easier for employees to report instances of harassment or discrimination. Riot also planned to hire a chief diversity officer and review their standards for hiring, pay, and promotion.

Employees who believe they are the victims of workplace harassment or discrimination may file a lawsuit against their employer and seek to recover damages. An employment attorney in your area can review your case and provide further assistance.

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