Riot Games is famous for League of Legends. On Monday, Riot Games announced that it is planning to settle an alleged gender discrimination lawsuit with California state agencies and female employees. The company will give $80 million to members of the class-action suit and the remaining $20 million to the plaintiff’s legal fees.
This lawsuit was filed by former Riot employees Melanie McCracken and Jess Negrón in 2018, who accused the company of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The suit ensued an article Kotaku published regarding an alleged culture of sexism at Riot Games. This article exposed rumors at Riot Games that implied female candidates weren’t “Riot material” because some were “ladder climbers”, some had “too much ego”, and most were not “gamer enough”. Former Riot employee Lacy said that her direct manager would sometimes imply that her position was a direct result of her appearance.
Riot Games agreed to pay $10 million to settle this lawsuit in 2019. However, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) intervened and argued that victims should be entitled to as much as $400 million. The DFEH acknowledged the $100 million settlement Monday night.
#RiotGames has agreed to a landmark $100M settlement and systemic reforms to resolve allegations of workplace sex #discrimination and #harassment. Additional information will be posted on #DFEH‘s website. https://t.co/WN1TjJAIWM pic.twitter.com/UK1cAUp5tR
— Cal DFEH (@CalDFEH) December 28, 2021
“This is a great day for the women of Riot Games — and for women at all video game and tech companies — who deserve a workplace that is free of harassment and discrimination,” said the plaintiffs’ counsel, the employment and sexual harassment lawyer Genie Harrison. “We appreciate Riot’s introspection and work since 2018 toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive company.” All current and former California employees and contractors who identify as women and have worked at Riot Games between November 2014 and present-day will qualify for a payout. At least 2300 employees will be eligible to receive a portion of the $80 million settlement, with those who started earlier or have worked at the company longer receiving a larger allocation of the funds.