Riot settles class action discrimination lawsuit as victims claim victory

    
8
Well well well, how the turntable.

Last year, Kotaku published a brutal exposé of Riot Games’ culture, replete with sexual harassment and sexual discrimination problems. In response, Riot promised a “cultural revolution” but followed up with weak action and poor redress for those affected, which resulted in an employee protest and walkout and the filing of an enforcement suit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which accused Riot of not fully cooperating with its investigation. This summer, Riot execs emerged to praise their own achievements, even if we’re all still a bit skeptical since this a company that also thought the appropriate punishment for a VP who repeatedly grabbed staff members’ balls was unpaid leave over Christmas.

Anyhow, there’s been movement on the law side of this absolute shitshow, as Riot Games has reportedly settled the class-action discrimination lawsuit that was lodged against it. According to the LA Times, the judge has yet to approve the settlement, and neither side has revealed the terms. The suit had alleged that Riot’s “bro culture” encouraged harassment in the form of “crotch-grabbing, phantom humping, and sending unsolicited and unwelcome pictures of male genitalia” and bosses running “hot girl” lists. Complaints by female employees were allegedly met with “denied promotions, refusals to provide increased compensation or equal pay, demotions, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, losses of benefits, suspensions, terminations, and other adverse employment actions.”

Organizers for labor rights at Riot Games have declared the settlement a “victory for women in games,” but do note that some of the workers whose rights were violated were forced into corporate arbitration instead of getting their day in court, and that’s not over yet. Neither is the CDFEH’s suit.

Comedian and editorialist Hasan Minhaj (you probably remember him from the Daily Show) just did a Netflix segment mentioning Riot Games’ discrimination suit amidst multiple other industry crises, including crunch.

Further reading:

Source: LA Times, Twitter
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Ashfyn Ninegold

Neither is the CDFEH’s suit.

As I may have posted on this topic before, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing is nothing to screw around with. In gaming terms, these guys pack a heavy arsenal, including a devastating lightning AOE that cracks open bank accounts, removing cash and leaving a flaming heap behind.

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Utakata

Accountability and setting boundaries, legal or otherwise. Always a good way to deal with absolute shitshows.

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Neurotic

Toxic playerbase, toxic company, two sides of the same toxic coin.

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Braud

Something I’ve found weird about this whole thing is that not too long ago, around 5 to 7 years ago, I believe, Riot was voted as one of the best video game companies to work at. This was around the time EA was voted the worst. I was kinda appalled when I first heard about this whole ordeal. How did they fall so hard?

I having trouble finding my original source but it was #18 on Glassdoor’s Best places to work for in 2016.

A visual tour of Riot Games, one of the ‘best places to work’ (photo gallery)

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Ashfyn Ninegold

As above, so below.

Also, a fish rots from its head.

A single, powerful person can completely change the culture of any organization.

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Darthbawl

this absolute shitshow

Bree, thank you for not holding back on calling this what is indeed is/was.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Swears shouldn’t be used often or casually. They should be saved to make an extreme point once and a great while. 99% of the time I find swearing to be something people use who are too ignorant to think of anything better to say. Ultimately and sadly this was one of the few times where it fits perfectly. This absolutely was a shitshow.

Unfortunately, the kids sitting in the back seat heard us and are now bouncing up and down chanting “shitshow shitshow shitshow!”.

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Bruno Brito

When you cut a bloated body with the scalpel, the rot appears.

Now, let the experts do a thorough examination, because this is really important, and may change how big gaming companies may start behaving in the future.