Riot Games has agreed pay $ 100 million to resolve a class action lawsuit filed in November 2018 by former employees alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. The league of legends the publisher had to pay only $ 10 million at a time previous settlement 2019, but the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing went to court to block the agreement. $ 10 million was too little the agency claimed, and women suing the company could be entitled to as much as $ 400 million.
The lawsuit was originally filed by Melanie McCracken and Jess Negrón after a Kotaku report revealed the programming culture of the company “men in the first place” and “bro”. in the report, Kotaku detailed experiences of employees within the company, such as “genital capture” cases and senior executives passing on lists of employees to sleep with. One former employee who left the company because of sexism said working for Riot was like “working in a giant fraternity”.
Under the terms of the settlement, $ 80 million will go to the members of the class action lawsuit, while $ 20 million will go to the plaintiffs’ legal costs. All employees and contractors in California who identify as women and who have worked at Riot since November 2014 to date are eligible for payment. Those who are longer in the company will get a bigger cut than newer workers. And there are plenty of new ones – while only about 1,000 workers were qualified for pay in 2019, there are now about 2,300 qualified staff. In a statement, the developer said Washington Post:
“Three years ago, Riot was at the center of what has become a showdown in our industry. We had to face the fact that despite our best intentions, we were not always in line with our values. As a company, we stood at a crossroads; we could deny our shortcomings. culture, or could apologize, correct the course and build a better Riot.We chose the latter … Although we are proud of how far we have come since 2018, we must also go responsibility for the past.Hopefully this settlement will be in the right way pay tribute to those who have had negative experiences in Rio. “
In addition to paying $ 100 million, Riot Games is also required to obtain a third-party expert to conduct a “gender / gender equality analysis of total benefits, awards and promotional results for California employees.” Riot must also allow for wage transparency and will have to be monitored by a third party, which will look after things like human resource complaints and wage fairness, for three years. The monitor will be able to recommend company changes that Riot can implement.
Genie Harrison, a women’s rights lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, said in a statement:
“This is a great day for women from Riot Games – and for women in all video game and technology gaming companies – who deserve a job without harassment and discrimination. We appreciate Riot’s introspection and work from 2018 to become a more diverse and inclusive company, its ready to take responsibility for their past and their commitment to justice and equality in the future.With DFEH and DLSE, brave women from Riot who carried the torch of justice achieved a precedent that sets a precedent that stands as a beacon for other women and as a warning to employers they must pay better and treat women fairly, or be held accountable. “
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