The Riot Games sexual harassment scandal has been raging for a tumultuous three months — or longer, depending on how you look at it — and now, two Riot employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against the studio, accusing it of committing gender-based discrimination and cultivating a “sexually-hostile working environment.” The lawsuit, which has been filed by “one current and one former Riot employee,” alleges that the League of Legends creator “violated California’s Equal Pay Act and law against gender-based discrimination at the workplace.”
In case you haven’t been following this whole debacle, everything began (or at least came to public light) back in August, when Kotaku published an investigative exposé that by way of testimonials from Rioters both former and current unveiled the studio’s toxic corporate culture in which employees reported being frequently harassed and discriminated against because of their gender. In response, Riot promised a “cultural revolution” that would increase the studio’s focus on diversity and inclusion, later hiring former Uber Senior Vice President of Leadership and Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei to head up its Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative. The scandal broadened even further last month, when the LA Times and ESPN both published pieces highlighting the studio’s ongoing struggles.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, according to Kotaku, “say they want to stop Riot’s alleged practice of paying men more than women who are fulfilling the same job role, promoting men into more superior roles more frequently than women, and demoting women who had similar qualifications as well-compensated men.” The plaintiffs are also seeking “compensation on unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties, with an exact amount to be determined at trial.” Riot released a statement to Kotaku, saying, “While we do not discuss the details of ongoing litigation, we can say that we take every allegation of this nature seriously and investigate them thoroughly.”