Riot Games has agreed to pay a collective $10 million to every woman employed there over the last five years. The payout for this gender discrimination class-action lawsuit is one of the largest in California's history, says the plaintiff's lawyer.
Last year in early July, Kotaku published an investigative piece describing the sexism and systematic disadvantages female employees faced at Riot Games. From there, Riot faced many more PR issues, such as a public walkout over attempts to invoke mandatory arbitration. The lawsuit was originally filed in November last year when two women filed the class-action lawsuit over violations of California's Equal Pay act along with the harassment and discrimination they faced. Details on the lawsuit and the case's progress have been quiet until late August when Riot reached a preliminary agreement in the lawsuit.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the newly filed documents on the settlement reveal that the approximately 1,000 women who've worked for Riot Games since November 2014 are entitled to a share of the pot. The share for each participant depends on "their tenure, length, and status." In a public statement, a spokesperson from Riot Games said:
We are pleased that a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit against Riot was filed recently by plaintiffs counsel. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the Industry’s best talent.
Riot further elaborates on their statement in this blog post.
Thoughts on Riot's progress
Over the last year, Kotaku reports, Riot Games has been taking steps to become more inclusive. Some of the steps include hiring third-party culture consultants and a diversity director, removing problematic employees, and appointing female employees into leadership positions. Employees at Riot remarked on the improvements to Kotaku in August, agreeing that Riot is taking real steps to fix its issues. However, several employees believe many of the improvements are undercut by the fact that some senior male employees accused of misconduct are still in the company.
When asked about the settlement, one employee told Kotaku:
It’s great that Riot has decided to compensate women for the abuse they suffered here, but their rhetoric about ‘healing and moving on’ leaves something to be desired. It’s difficult to heal and move on when we are faced with the reality that at the end of the day, Riot prefers to pay the women still here for the trouble of continuing to work with alleged abusers.
What do you think about the settlement? Do you think the employees have gotten fair compensation? Do you think Riot is going to take more serious steps in improving its corporate culture? Let us know in the comments below!