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A class action lawsuit was filed against Riot Games yesterday by one current and one former employee, who allege that Riot allowed gender-based discrimination and promoted an environment catered to putting male employees first.
The lawsuit comes three months after several current and former Riot employees pulled back the curtain hiding a toxic workplace environment which ultimately drives women out of the studio.
The plaintiffs include former Riot employee Jessica Negron and current employee Melanie McCracken, who claim they want to prevent Riot from “creating, encouraging, and maintaining a work environment that exposes its female employees to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of their gender or sex."
According to those who have shared their experiences, Riot fosters a hostile environment for some of the women who work there and cultivates a feedback culture which rewards men and demeans women.
Riot responded to the allegations by providing plans to move forward and correct the company culture that has enabled those past wrongs, even hiring Uber's former senior vice president for leadership and strategy Frances Frei to help improve its workplace culture.
However as Kotaku reports, the lawsuit claims that “like many of Riot Games’ female employees, Plaintiffs have been denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they are women."
"Moreover, Plaintiffs have also seen their working conditions negatively impacted because of the ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias which predominate the sexually-hostile working environment of Riot Games.”
The complaint also argues that Riot violated California’s Equal Pay Act and law against gender-based discrimination at the workplace and contains examples of gender-based discrimination observed by the plaintiffs.
They are asking for compensation on unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties, although an exact amount will be determined at trial. The entire lawsuit can be viewed here.