Riot Games settlement

Judge reportedly approves Riot Games’ $100 million settlement

By Olivia Richman

|

Jul 23, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

A recent report has stated a California judge has approved a $100 million settlement between Riot Games and former female employees.

While Activision Blizzard has been in the spotlight for its recent handling of ongoing sexual harassment and workplace discrimination accusations, fellow video game publishing company Riot Games has also been dealing with the aftermath of a gender-based discrimination lawsuit. Former employees came forward in 2018 to accuse Riot Games of having a hostile and toxic work environment.

At the end of 2021, Riot Games settled the class-action gender discrimination lawsuit for $100 million, with $80 million to be split among Riot Games’ former and current female employees from 2014 onward. This would address the lower salaries and lack of promotions for women working at Riot Games throughout the company’s history.

It was reported that more than 2,000 full-time employees and contractors would be eligible for the nine-figure settlement. Now, a report by Axios states that a California judge has approved this settlement, meaning the women will be notified by the end of August of the decision.

What happened at Riot Games?

Female employees came forward in 2018 to accuse Riot Games of gender discrimination, harassment, and an overall toxic work environment. The accusations were first shared in a report published by Kotaku.

Female employees reported being sexually objectified, with some male employees even starting an email chain that rated the “hotness” of the women at the company. One woman was labeled as a “good target to sleep with” but not call again after. During a company meeting, a higher-up at Riot Games said “no doesn’t necessarily mean no.” There were also multiple incidents of bosses sharing unsolicited images of male genitalia to female employees.

Women were allegedly treated with hostility and belittled by supervisors, with one former employee reporting that she was called “shrill.” During online gaming sessions with male and female employees participating, the women were “routinely harassed and demeaned.”

But it wasn’t only toxic behavior that led women to call out Riot Games. Many women were allegedly denied promotions and were paid less than equal male colleagues. One of the women who sued Riot Games initially stated that she earned $56,000 despite taking on the duties of a manager who was previously paid $160,000. During those six months, she wasn’t offered a raise or promotion.

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