Riot Games Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit with Still-Inadequate $100 Million Dollar Fund
Riot Games is not the first videogame company to be exposed for its frat-like culture and sexual harassment. However, it is likely to be one of the most eye-opening examples for casual observers. In 2018, a report on the company triggered a series of investigations. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit on behalf of aggrieved females seeking restitution for their treatment and the alleged wage gap in the company. Riot initially offered a settlement of $10 million, but that was rejected. Riot has to pay $100,000,000 in a combination fund for victims and attorney fees.
The fund, worth $80 million, is available to current and former employees in California, contract and full-time, who had worked for the company since November 2014, when the first complaint was recorded.
A third-party oversight will also be in place to oversee Riot’s internal reporting, pay equity, and other processes for the next three years. This is within the limits of changes approved by Riot and California DFEH. Although the case is settled, Riot will still need to change its practices. This will require a concerted effort.
Although the case has been settled, it is not what Riot wanted. The company pursued other avenues before paying a cent to victims. Riot tried to claim that plaintiffs didn’t have the right to sue them in 2019, as they were not allowed to sue the company after their initial hire. Riot tried to move the suit to arbitration. This is not a courtroom, and Riot benefits only.
Riot allowed the lawsuit to proceed at this $100 million settlement after employees walked out protesting this transparent move.
Disclosure: Riot Games is a parent company to Fanbyte, Tencent.