Riot Games settles gender discrimination lawsuit for $100 million

Nicholas James • December 27, 2021 10:55 pm

Riot Games has settled its high-profile class-action gender discrimination lawsuit to the tune of $100 million, $80 million of which will be split among women who worked at Riot Games between 2014 and today.

The lawsuit against Riot Games that alleged a hostile workplace for women, harassment, and potentially toxic elements resulted in part from a 2018 investigative effort by Kotaku to expose the League of Legends developers’ unhealthy workplace practices.

Riot lawsuit gives $80 million to previous and current employees

The settlement was announced on Monday after several years of ongoing legal affairs. Riot Games had previously attempted to settle the lawsuit for a sum total of $10 million two years ago, but California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing intervened via a court filing. In the filing, the DFEH argued that Riot wasn’t paying nearly enough, citing that former and current employees could be owed up to a total of $400 million.

The new settlement comes in at ten times the original settlement, but only a quarter of the DFEH’s highest projections. Riot is settling in part with California’s regulatory bodies, as well as with the individual claimants. $80 million of this will be made available to workers between 2014 and present-day who identify as women, with more than 2,000 eligible workers according to Launcher.

The DFEH, along with the California Division of Labor acknowledged Riot Games’ settlement in a statement today, cites 1,065 women employees and 1,300 women contractors in the relevant period. Riot must make several changes both immediately and in the future in order to properly pay recompense.

Riot under a watchful eye until 2024 after settlement

Riot Games will have to do more than pay out money as part of this settlement, with the DFEH announcement recognizing several other clauses. Riot Games will be made to create an $18 million dollar cash reserve to fund diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.

Riot will also be made to create 40 new positions across a variety of areas to previous temporary contractors in order to provide more stability for the various people working on Riot’s products. Finally, Riot will be made to hire and pay a third party approved by the DFEH in order to oversee a variety of company functions to rectify the issues outlined in the lawsuit.

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