Riot Games, widely known for League of Legends, has agreed to pay $100 million to resolve a class-action sex discrimination lawsuit filed in 2018.
According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the settlement will “remedy violations against approximately 1,065 female employees and 1,300 female contract workers.”
Riot Games is an American video game developer, publisher, and esports tournament organizer owned by Tencent, a Chinese multinational technology conglomerate holding company.
According to the DFEH, the firm participated in “systemic sexual harassment and discrimination.”
Riot Games stated that it must “account for the past.”
The corporation will pay $80 million to class to the class action suit members and approximately $20 million in legal fees.
The 2018 lawsuit came about as a result of investigations conducted by the Los Angeles Times and news website Kotaku.
Riot was accused of cultivating a “bro culture” and faced a variety of other claims in the original complaint.
These included allegations that women had been sexually objectified, with one email chain ranking the company’s “hottest female employees,” and that supervisors and coworkers had shown staff unsolicited photographs of male genitalia.
Riot consented to workplace improvements, independent expert examination of its compensation, recruiting, and promotion procedures, and three years of monitoring for sexual harassment and “retaliation” at its California headquarters.
Additionally, the corporation must set aside $18 million to fund diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and hire 40 former contract workers to full-time positions in engineering, quality assurance, or art design.
According to DFEH Director Kevin Kish, if the settlement is approved by the court, it will result in long-term changes at Riot Games and “convey the message that all industries in California, including the gaming sector, must provide fair pay and workplaces free of discrimination and harassment.”
Riot initially planned to settle the complaint for $10 million in 2019, but the DFEH and another agency stopped the arrangement, claiming that plaintiffs were entitled to significantly more.
The corporation admitted that it had not always lived up to its beliefs, telling the Washington Post that “although we are proud of our progress since 2018, we must also accept responsibility for the past.”
“We trust that this settlement adequately compensates people who had negative Riot experiences.”
Riot’s leadership team stated in an open message to employees that the settlement was “the proper thing to do for the firm and for those whose experiences at Riot fell short of our standards and values.”
According to the BBC, the corporation has made significant adjustments to its workplace since 2018, including recruiting its first chief people officer and chief diversity officer, rewriting its values, implementing new training programs, and expanding its diversity and inclusion team.