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Riot Games settles gender-discrimination class action lawsuit

Riot Games settles gender-discrimination class action lawsuit

August 23, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

League of Legends developer Riot Games has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged the studio allowed gender-based discrimination and fostered a work culture that favored men.

The suit was filed in November last year by one current and one former employee, who argued that Riot had violated California's Equal Pay Act, and asked for compensation on unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties. 

It arrived after several other employees pulled back the curtain on Riot's toxic workplace environment in an article on Kotaku that detailed incidents of sexual harassment and bullying, while the settlement comes after over 150 employees staged a mass walkout over the company's forced arbitration policy.

Rather than fight the lawsuit, Riot has settled in a bid to reiterate its "commitment to owning our past, and to healing the company so that we can move forward together."

"We realize that this is a path that many companies in our position may not have chosen, but we felt it was the strongest statement we could make to Rioters, and prospective Rioters, that we’re prepared to go over and above in order to move forward," reads a company statement.

"While we believed that we had a strong position to litigate, we realized that in the long run, doing what is best for both Riot and Rioters was our ideal outcome."

The attorney representing the two plaintiffs said the settlement represented "meaningful and fair value to class members for their experiences at Riot," and suggested it's a clear indication that the studio is committed to improving and evolving its culture and employment practices. 

Those sentiments were echoed by Riot chief exec Nicolo Laurent, who claimed the studio will try and do better in the future.

"We are grateful for every Rioter who has come forward with their concerns and believe this resolution is fair for everyone involved," said Laurent. "With this agreement, we are honoring our commitment to find the best and most expeditious way for all Rioters, and Riot, to move forward and heal. 

"Over the past year, we've made substantial progress toward evolving our culture and will continue to pursue this work as we strive to be the most inclusive company in gaming."

Both parties will now move toward seeking court approval of the proposed settlement. Riot will provide additional details about its terms when that filing takes place. 

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