Discrimination class-action lawsuit against Riot proceeds in spite of Riot’s arbitration success

    
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Well well well, how the turntable.

In the summer of 2018, which seems like an eternity ago now, Kotaku published a massive expose of Riot Games’ “culture of sexism,” the poor corporate response to which ultimately triggered an employee walkout, multiple lawsuits, and a story about how a VP who repeatedly grabbed subordinates’ balls was punished with only unpaid leave over Christmas, which is an anecdote I am still putting into this story in 2021 because what the actual hell, Riot Games.

Anyhow, there’s been some new movement on the scandal as Riot’s pushed to move the class-action discrimination lawsuit back into arbitration. Again. Readers will recall that the employee walkout was largely a result of pushback against Riot’s contract arbitration clause and its subsequent refusal to allow current employees to opt-out of mandatory arbitration (in short, waiving their right to sue in an impartial state court).

Readers will also recall that the discrimination lawsuit was supposed to have been on the brink of settlement at the end of 2019, as Riot was slated to pay out $10M to the plaintiffs. But at the beginning of 2020, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) intervened, arguing that $10M was a pittance from a company worth over $20B. The plaintiffs withdrew the settlement agreement and obtained new counsel: high-profile discrimination attorney Genie Harrison.

That brings us to 2021, when the suit is back in court again. Earlier this week, the LA court sent some of the claims back to arbitration all over again, with the exception of the equal pay statutory claims and the exception of the single plaintiff who never signed an arbitration agreement in the first place. The court ruled she can “litigate all of her claims in court on behalf of herself and the class.” And apparently, the group will be doing just that.

In case you somehow missed the whole sorry saga:

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Leo
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Leo

arbitration is such a joke

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Greaterdivinity

how a VP who repeatedly grabbed subordinates’ balls was punished with only unpaid leave over Christmas

How this asshat managed to avoid a broken nose is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been cup-checked and shit, especially when I worked in restaurants. But like, pretty much never more than once, because there was always retaliation.

I don’t give a shit if it’s your boss, if your boss is repeatedly grabbing/hitting you genitals, regardless of the gender on either side of the equation, they deserve a swift fist to the face.

Riot is truly one of the nexus of the worst confluence of gamer, dudebro, and frat culture merging together into an unholy mess of just about everything awful.

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Bruno Brito

Well…people are scared of losing their jobs. Really scared. Specially when you’re so specialized that you have a particular subset of skills that won’t get you anywhere else but in that specific scene, and also…it’s Riot, you know? It’s like what Blizzard was. People will go through abuse to just keep that dream alive.

When i helped my father with his cases, i had to twist myself back and forth trying to convince my friends, and even his clients, to keep pursuing their rights. Dad would literally default to win because most of the abuse being done to workers was rampant and illegal, and most of the companies wouldn’t even show up in court, defaulting wins. But yet, they were always scared.

You’re completely correct tho, that this shit needs retaliation, and swift one at that, lest they keep doing it and thinking they will be bailed all the time.

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SmiteDoctor

Dude, if any one ever pulled that shit with me they would be buried some where deep in the wilderness for me to visit and urinate on.

I may not be Vin Diesle but at 370 LB I can swing a hammer that can one shot a mofo.

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Bruno Brito

Sure, but not everyone is like us. Actually, most people aren’t.

Reality is, abuse sticks with you, and the hardships you go through to get that dream job contribute with a mentality of you enduring to keep it. It’s not that simple. Specially when your livehood and mortgage depends on it.

And going to the police doesn’t help. The police is ill-equipped to deal with abuse, considering they have abusive cultures. It’s not uncommon for abused women to be met with scorn and even more abuse in precincts. And those cases rarely get favorable resolutions. Last statistic i saw was cases of violent abuse where of 1000 cases, only 5 would lead to conviction.

Hence why movements like metoo and BLM are extremely important to shed a light on how hard this is for whoever deals with it.

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McGuffn

omfg FILE A POLICE REPORT. I get that people don’t want to go public but you can’t refuse to do the one thing that will give you some resolution and then expect that resolution anyway.

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Bruno Brito

Sadly, the cops rarely help. Sometimes, the abuse is worse downtown. And the chance you’ll get a resolution that’s favorable to you is almost inexistent.

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Utakata

*Pigtails mumbles something about 4 years of this and them some in the Oval Office, how 45 Senate Republicans thought that was passable…and thusly, this is why I’m not to surprised in the least about any of this getting away with it*

/le sigh

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IronSalamander8 .

This whole situation is one big reason (among many) why I don’t play any of their games (and have some concern for Hytale after they bought that studio). I have worked with a couple guys in prior jobs that pulled similar, albeit not as overt, kinds of things that should get them fired or at least disciplined, but some of Riot Game’s management behavior is absolutely reprehensible.