Riot Games has reached a settlement in the gender discrimination lawsuit levelled at the company last year, as announced in a statement posted by the publisher.
The lawsuit claimed that Riot Games fostered a toxic working environment for female employees, citing the ‘ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias’ that stagnated the plaintiffs’ careers. This was corroborated in a report by Kotaku, in which 28 current and former employees described a ‘bro culture’ that would actively encourage sexist behaviour. And, the lawsuit claimed that Riot ‘violated California’s Equal Pay Act and law against gender-based discrimination at the workplace’, and the plaintiffs were seeking financial compensation on this basis.
Today, an agreement has been reached between all the involved parties. In the statement from Riot Games, it read that the company has worked to comprehensively address the issues raised, which it deemed are not ‘systemic’ at Riot. ‘We made a commitment to Rioters that we would be willing to take the steps necessary to build trust and to demonstrate that we’re serious about Riot evolving into an excellent place to work for all Rioters,’ the statement announced, ‘Under these circumstances, we’ve had to look critically at our litigation approach to the class action lawsuit.’
‘Rather than entrench ourselves and continue to litigate, we chose to pivot and try to take an approach that we believe best demonstrates our commitment to owning our past, and to healing the company so that we can move forward together,’ Riot Games stated. The courts have not approved the settlement at present, and so the technicalities are not publicly available yet. Riot also posted the joint press release for the plaintiffs and the company.
Ryan Saba, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said, ‘This is a clear indication that Riot is dedicated to making progress in evolving its culture and employment practices.’ In response to the settlement, CEO of Riot Games Nicolo Laurent said, ‘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.’
Earlier this year, over 150 Riot employees staged a walkout to protest the company’s forced arbitration policies. In the statement posted today, Riot cites its ongoing efforts to improve diversity and inclusion at its workplaces, and hopefully this settlement agreement is one step further towards a healthy and safe environment for minorities.
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