Riot Games has agreed to pay a $100 million settlement in a discrimination action

Image credit: The Hustle

Riot Games, best known for League of Legends, has agreed to pay $100 million (£74.3 million) to settle a gender discrimination class-action lawsuit filed in 2018.

The settlement will “remedy breaches against approximately 1,065 female employees and 1,300 female contract workers,” according to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

According to DFEH, The company engaged in “systemic sex discrimination and harassment.”

Riot Games stated that it must “account for the past.”

The corporation will pay $80 million (£59 million) to class-action plaintiffs, plus around $20 million (£15 million) in legal fees.

The case was explored by the Los Angeles Times and the news website Kotaku in 2018.

The riot was accused of creating a bro culture in the original lawsuit against the company, which included a variety of charges. 

According to an email exchange evaluating the company’s “hottest female employees,” female employees had been sexually objectified, and bosses and coworkers had given staff unsolicited images of male genitalia.

As part of the settlement, Riot agreed to workplace changes, an independent expert evaluation of its pay, recruiting, and promotion policies, and three years of sexual harassment and “retaliation” surveillance at its California headquarters.

In addition, the company must set aside $18 million (13.2 million) to fund diversity, equity, and inclusion programmes, as well as create 40 full-time engineering, quality assurance, or art design positions for former contract workers.

Riot had agreed to settle the complaint about $10 million in 2019, but it was blocked by the DFEH and other agencies.

According to the corporation, improvements have been made across the board since 2018, including the hiring of its first chief people officer and chief diversity officer, rewriting its values, adopting new training programmes, and growing its diversity and inclusion team.

Riot Games isn’t the only well-known gaming company grappling with concerns of workplace culture.

The DFEH is also looking into the company that created World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have reached an $18 million (£13.2 million) settlement over allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment.

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