Los Angeles-Based Riot Games to Pay $10 Million to Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
Los Angeles-based video game developer, Riot Games, has agreed to pay out about $10 million to women who worked at the company in the last five years as part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over alleged gender discrimination. According to a KTLA news report, the lawsuit was filed in November 2018 when two women who worked at the company that makes the popular “League of Legends” game sued over violations of the California Equal Pay Act and alleged that they were routinely subjected to sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
About 1,000 women who worked at Riot Games from November 2014 until the date the settlement is finalized will be entitled to a payment from this settlement. The final dollar amount each employee receives will vary depending on the duration of his or her employment. Full-time employees will receive more than contractors.
Hostile Work Environment
The settlement filing also spells out a number of commitments the company has made to improve its culture including strengthening internal programs to report sexual harassment and discrimination. The company is also undertaking a review of all pay, promotion and hiring practices and is hiring a dedicated chief diversity officer as part of its efforts to improve its work environment. The settlement still needs to be approved by the court.
The class-action lawsuit was filed after a series of dramatic exposes beginning with an article from the games website Kotaku, in which current female employees talked about a “bro culture in the company” with outrageously inappropriate behavior such as crotch-grabbing, phantom humping, managers circulating a “hot girl list” and sending unsolicited pictures of male genitalia.
The lawsuit also alleged that female employees who spoke about this hostile work environment faced retaliatory action from Riot such as being denied promotions and pay raises and slapped with suspensions, terminations and even losses of benefits. Two employees also filed separate wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuits against the company.
Protecting Employees’ Rights
This is an example of how class-action lawsuits can serve as a powerful means to help employees hold their employers accountable for wrongful and unethical actions such as harassment, discrimination and retaliation. When employees band together to take action, the consequences can be extremely empowering. If you are facing a hostile environment in your workplace, it is important that you report your situation to human resources and contact an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney who will fight to protect your rights and hold your employer accountable.