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Riot ignores calls to scrap mandatory arbitration for all employees

Riot ignores calls to scrap mandatory arbitration for all employees

May 17, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

League of Legends maker Riot Games has refused to completely scrap its mandatory arbitration policy, despite employees staging a mass walkout over the issue less than two weeks ago. 

The company had attempted to quell discontent by allowing new hires to opt-out of forced arbitration, but Riot claims it can't extend that same courtesy to all employees because of the "complexities of ongoing litigation."

"We will not change our employee agreements while in active litigation," the studio told Bloomberg. "We know not everyone agrees with this decision, but we also know everyone does want Riot to continue to improve."

Riot had previously committed to delivering a "firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters," but the wording of today's statement suggests the company could still change its mind once all active litigation has been dealt with. 

For those wondering why employees are disgruntled, Riot recently filed motions to force two staffers involved in harassment lawsuits against the company into private arbitration to settle the matter. 

That meant details surrounding the case would remain under-wraps, raising concerns about a lack of transparency at the studio -- which last year came under fire for fostering a toxic and sexist company culture

Although Riot has taken steps to address those issues, including appointing a 'culture fixer' to better foster inclusivity, the company's inaction on the issue or arbitration shows there's still plenty of work to be done.

UPDATE: In a statement provided to USGamer, the organizers of last week's walkout said they are "disappointed leadership doesn't seem to be considering any major changes to their active policy."

"As we continue to pressure Riot to end forced arbitration, we are leveraging that teamwork and solidarity by involving more coworkers in the effort," reads an excerpt from the statement. "We are weighing the options for our next steps, and will share more information next week. As always, our main goal is to make sure that workers at Riot feel heard and represented, and above all, safe."

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