Riot Games, the Los Angeles-based company behind the wildly popular “League of Legends” video game, is facing an employment lawsuit after female employees are alleging sexual harassment, unequal pay and retaliation. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks class action status and alleges the company has a “men-first bro culture” in which harassment and inappropriate behavior toward women go unchecked.
Disturbing Behavior Alleged
Some of the behavior alleged in the lawsuit includes crude jokes and “crotch-grabbing, phantom humping and sending unsolicited pictures of male genitalia.” In addition, there were also allegations of employees participating in email chains like “what it would be like to penetrate female employees” and male managers circulating a “hot girl list” ranking female employees by how attractive they were.
The lawsuit also alleges that the company retaliated against outspoken female employees by denying promotions, refusal to provide increased compensation or equal pay, demotions, reassignment with different responsibilities, loss of benefits, suspension, termination and other adverse actions. Plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages. One plaintiff, a former employee, says she did the job of an absent manager without any pay increase for a year only to be passed on for a promotion in favor of three men.
Another current female employee said she was blocked out from ongoing projects after a senior executive accused her of sharing photos of him at a dance club with scantily clad women on a business trip to Shanghai. The lawsuit seeks recognition for a proposed class that includes all women currently or formerly employed by the company in California who experienced discrimination, retaliation or harassment in the last four years.
Why Class Actions Are Important
This lawsuit illustrates the importance of class-action lawsuits particularly in cases where women have been deprived of promotions and have experienced a hostile work environment rife with sexual harassment. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have brought many of these injustices out in the open. Class-action lawsuits have been a great way for women who have experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace to hold their employers accountable.
If you have been the victim of harassment, discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, it is important to know that you have legal rights. Contact an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer who can provide you with more information.