Riot is trying to divert its employees’ gender-discrimination lawsuit to arbitration

    
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Someone must have had fun with this at some point, right?

Hoo boy. Just when it was starting to look like the seemingly interminable saga of Riot’s sexual harassment and gender discrimination scandal couldn’t get any stormier, new developments go and throw even more fuel on the fire.

You may recall that last November, two Riot employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the League of Legends developer, alleging that the studio “violated California’s Equal Pay Act and law against gender-based discrimination at the workplace.” Now, Riot has filed motions to prevent those employees from taking legal action and force them to accede to private arbitration.

According to a this week’s report from Kotaku, the motion claims that in signing their employment contracts with Riot, the employees in question agreed to arbitration clauses that “force staff to take their complaints to private arbitration, an extra-legal system without a jury or a judge, rather than pursuing legal action.”

In response to these claims, the employees’ attorney, Ryan Saba, wrote in a press release, “Today’s actions only serve to silence the voices of individuals who speak out against such misconduct and demonstrate that the company’s words were no more than lip service.” He also told Kotaku that “he plans to fight the forced arbitration” and that “he believes there is precedent for obtaining a jury trial even when parties involved have signed arbitration clauses.”

Source: Kotaku
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Randy Savage

What do you expect them to do? Bend over? Companies lawyer up. It’s what they do.

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Randy Savage

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Nathan Aldana

Thats all the more reason to report it and embarass the shit out of them. Companies deserve no mercy, no matter how much you wanna shrug and bury your head in the sand

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Randy Savage

I’m just saying nobody should be surprised about it. Doing the “right thing” goes out of the window as soon as lawyers get involved.

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Bruno Brito

Yeah, but it isn’t surprising. Doesn’t mean people shouldn’t do anything about it.

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Randy Savage

What people should do and what people can do are often two entirely different things

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Jack Kerras

Yeah, isn’t it weird how corporations continue to get more and more rights while people continue to be more and more subject to ‘legal’ EULAs that they write? That it’s okay for corporations to force people to sign away their rights, and the Supreme Court upholds decisions like that sometimes?

It’s almost like the whole of the American system has been horribly perverted by a constant ever-growing starvation for money, and like power has been wrested away from the people, if slowly and incrementally, for decades now.

It’s almost like something big is going to have to happen so that our kids and grandkids (for those of you lucky enough to have a few) aren’t consigned to wage-slavery for their entire lives, or perhaps like the living soul of the American people is at stake.

It’s almost like people sighing and shrugging about this are part of the fucking problem.

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Randy Savage

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Nathan Aldana

you know, posting random memes isnt going to convince anyone else to be a cynical defeatist who thinks caring is dumb.

it just makes you look like someone more interested in being an edgelord above it all as long as it doesnt directly put you starving in the street

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Randy Savage

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Jack Kerras

This neither invalidates my point nor suggests in any way that you are not a part of the problem.

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Randy Savage

It’s really funny because my original point was to criticize the legal process that Riot is exploiting, which is why I posted that Game of Thrones quote. But you started attacking me without ever bothering to consider my actual position. So I posted that Smashing Pumpkins meme because you’re too blind with impotent rage to engage in intelligent conversation. Before you go branding other people as part of the problem, you should really take a look at yourself.

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Jack Kerras

‘Eh, it’s just what happens’ is unhelpful and defeatist; that’s the point.

Even if it is also fundamentally true in this moment, I don’t feel that excuses the shrug and ‘Eh, whatever, of course they did’ tone of the post.

The thing to do about this is not shrug. People have been shrugging for a long fucking time, and it universally doesn’t help the folks who actually need help.

I don’t need to know what your True Position In The Argument is if the response that came out of you came off unhelpful and defeatist; I had this same conversation elsewhere, but the original post (and all its branches) got nuked somewhere along the line.

What people should do and what people -can- do are genuinely different, especially under an economic system that will happily kill a jobless diabetic, but once again, this still falls under harmful defeatist nonsense; the solution to this is to make noise, not to shrug about it and go back to fuckin’ work.

So: even if your original post was scathing, your responses otherwise have gotten mega shrug-y, and all we have to do to let even more awful shit happen to us is shrug some more.

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Randy Savage

Ranting in an echo chamber on a niche gaming website isn’t any more effective than shrugging and going back to work. But you go ahead and keep making noise by clanging away at your keyboard if you think it helps. I’m going to go back to “fuckin’ work” with my nonprofit organization that helps tutor underprivileged kids in impoverished areas. We’ll see who makes more of a difference in the end. But thanks for reminding me why I stopped commenting on this site. The sheer toxicity of it all….

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Bruno Brito

People ARE doing what they should: Ignoring Riot’s “contractual basis” and lawyering up.

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Randy Savage

Yes those people are because they’re actually involved, but the rest of us? We’re just observers watching this whole thing play out unable to do anything even remotely impactful apart from pulling our financial support for Riot, assuming we were supporting them in the first place.

And yet the sheer amount of zealotry in the comments section reeks of overstating one’s importance and relevance in the grand scheme of things. This story is not the spark that will ignite your revolution where the bloggers of the world unite.

Riot has already done the math and measured the long term damage of the negative optics versus letting the lawsuit proceed. And they’ve assessed the situation fairly accurately too because eventually the ADHD of the internet will kick in and folks will move on to the next “crise du jour” and it will be back to business as usual for Riot.

The real revolution has to happen on an individual level where we evolve to become the change we wish to see in the world by being active in our immediate environment where we can actually make a difference.

Instead of adding your voice to the feedback loop of negativity on the internet, maybe peel your butt out of your smelly gaming chair and do a walkathon for a good cause or support legislation on the local level that will directly impact your community.

If I am a defeatist, it’s only in the sense that I don’t believe the internet holds any value as an instrument for change beyond organizing things in the real world where the actual work gets done. It’s why I deleted my personal social media accounts and only have one for work because of its value as a networking tool for community organizing.

But the back and forth pissing contest everyone likes to have while pretending they’re going to somehow arrive at an actionable solution if they win the argument? No thanks. I have better uses for my time. And with that, I take my exit from this “conversation” that I shouldn’t have gotten involved with in the first place. You kids have fun.

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Utakata

…well that all depends on which echo chamber you are ranting from. o.O

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Omitted from this report is Riot only did this for 2 out of the 5 employees currently filing suits, but article I read didn’t state why.

Also found a recent US Supreme Court ruling which supported (5-4) employers rights to enforce the individual arbitration clauses signed by employees except in the case of illegal activities.

So while unpopular this move may well be within Riots legal rights.

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Bruno Brito

Link to the ruling please.

Covynant001
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Covynant001
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Bruno Brito

Thanks, i’ll take a look.

Yangers
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Kickstarter Donor
Yangers

I wonder why they only tried to enforce this on 2 of the 5 then.

The other 3 didn’t sign?

If they all signed, can you just decide to enforce on some but not others?

Covynant001
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Covynant001

The sites anti spam filter has blocked the display of my two attempts to link articles. Last time this happened I was prevented from posting again for almost two weeks.

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Utakata

Well…that was a questionably legal asshole move. To which one can hope this blows up on them so hard their heads are sent into low orbit for a re-entry burn. But I won’t be holding my breath here on that though. /bleh

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Jack Kerras

No longer questionably legal, thanks to SCOTUS!

This is a real thing. Corporations are only going to grow in power and agency under the current administration, and they have needed cutting down to size for decades.

We’re approaching Snow Crash pretty fucking fast, and whether or not I love that book, I would prefer not to live in it. (the video games do sound pretty cool)

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Utakata

Then I’ll have to double my hopes in order for it to blow in their faces. /bleh

PS: Thanks for the big clean up Ms. Bree ‘n Company! It was getting messy! >.<

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Jack Kerras

Sing it with me:

o/~ you can’t actually sign away your rights! o/`

It can help a case against you if you signed paperwork of this kind, but it -cannot- actually stop you from getting a trial; in cases where it does, it’s for lack of pushing.

Courts have held forced arbitration clauses to be unenforceable as a matter of public policy because they limit access to the justice system and do so in a way that is often in a contract of adhesion (meaning one party as a matter of practicality has no choice but to accept it).

Now, we DID just get a disastrously shitty SCOTUS ruling on this (the most recent of what I’m sure will be many of them unless serious Supreme Court reforms come down the line), but that doesn’t mean it’s totally kosher to be doing this.

It isn’t. Sooner or later, this kind of absolute fucking nonsense will be illegal, just like it ought to be.

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Bruno Brito

Indeed, you can’t, but it’s psychological terror.

It was a wide used tactic by callcenter corporations here in Brazil. They would put the word in the street that if you ever tried to enter with work processes to acquire all your due rights after a demission, you would be “blacklisted” from working in the same kinds of jobs ever again. This was extremely effective ( still is ), until some people realized two things:

1- Working in a callcenter is worse than being a fucking traffic cop on the midday sun. The ammount of abuse you get, and the lack of decent paying that gets cut for any reason whatsoever is disgraceful. Most people who went after their dues realized that they were ok with never setting foot on another callcenter ever again, because, fuck that.

2- That was a lie. Callcenter companies are the target of mass reclamations here in Brazil, because they operate for the worse companies. When push came to shove, these centers needed warm bodies and everybody was already fightning for the rights yet they were needed back.

Yet, it’s something that people believe until today. That their force ammount to nothing when it actually does quite a decent dent on these idiots up top. My father is shoving his pockets with money while helping the rank and file get their dues, and while i’m not proud of him for anything fatherly-related, he is at least a decent human being, and decided on a good career.

Nowadays, i always say: Get a lawyer. Get your rights. You’ll get a UNGODLY ammount of money if any company does the standard they do with other people. Do NOT let these greedy fucks run with your blood, sweat and tears without paying them.

Then, it’s up to them if they go after it or not. Sadly, a lot of people are still afraid, but that’s changing.

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PanagiotisLial1

Riot sounds like about to cause a riot soon

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Sorenthaz

That sounds like such a dumb catch-all thing to have a forced arbitration clause snuck in. Stuff like that shouldn’t hold up in courts at all imo because it’s pretty much obstructing justice and keeping things in-house while removing folks’ rights to a fair trial.

Like that’s the exact same problem with how Riot is the judge/jury/executioner for their e-sports stuff. No one can hold them accountable and they don’t have to release evidence when they kick a team/ban individuals.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

judge/jury/executioner for their e-sports stuff.

On this, I don’t know. If I personally funded an event I wouldn’t be keen on someone else being judge/jury/executioner of my event. The onus would be on me to run it fairly, sure. But if I decide that the rules of my event say anyone saying the word “Yellow” in the third round is disqualified, then so be it. People aren’t forced to play in my event. People need to read the rules (to include employment agreement) that they are signing on to and if something looks fishy, don’t sign it.

Sure, most people don’t expect to be in a legal situation, but no one expected the Spanish inquisition, either.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Honestly, I’d be pretty proud if game designers took overreaching and compulsory binding arbitration clauses to the courts.