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$100m Settlement In Discrimination Case Agreed To By Riot Games

$100m Settlement In Discrimination Case Agreed To By Riot Games
Riot Games, well known for League of Legends, has agreed to pay $100 million for the settlement of a gender discrimination class-action lawsuit filed against it in 2018.
California's Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) wrote that the settlement will "remedy violations against approximately 1,065 women employees and 1,300 women contract workers".
The company engaged in "systemic sex discrimination and harassment", the DFEH said.
It must "take responsibility for the past", Riot Games said.
The firm will pay $80 million to class-action plaintiffs, plus nearly $20 million in legal fees.
The Los Angeles Times and the news website Kotaku investigated the case in 2018.
Riot was charged with encouraging a "bro culture" in the original complaint against the company, which included a number of claims.
Ladies had been portrayed as sex objects, according to an email exchange that evaluated the company's "hottest women employees," and supervisors and coworkers had given staff unsolicited photographs of male genitalia.
Riot committed to making workplace improvements, participating in an independent expert review of its pay, recruiting, and promotion procedures, and three years of monitoring for sexual harassment and "retaliation" at its California headquarters as part of the deal.
In addition, the firm must set aside $18 money to cover for the financing of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as well as develop 40 full-time engineering, quality assurance, or art-design positions for former contract workers.
According to DFEH Director Kevin Kish, if the settlement is approved by the court, it will result in long-term change at Riot Games, and "send the message that all industries in California, including the gaming industry, must provide equal pay and workplaces free from discrimination and harassment".
The DFEH and another organization had stopped the settlement, claiming that the money to which victims were entitled was substantially larger compared to an initial proposal of settling the case for $10 million that had been made by the company back in 2019.  
The firm admitted that it had to accept the fact that it had not always acted in accordance with its ideals. The company told the Washington Post: "While we're proud of how far we've come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past".
"We hope that this settlement properly acknowledges those who had negative experiences at Riot."
"The right thing to do, for both the company and those whose experiences at Riot fell short of our standards and values", Riot's executive team said in a letter to its employees.
Since 2018, the firm has made enhancements across the board, including recruiting its first chief people officer and chief diversity officer, revamping its values, implementing new training programs, and expanding its diversity and inclusion team, according to the company.
Riot Games isn't the only well-known gaming company dealing with workplace culture issues.
Activision Blizzard, the firm behind World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty, is also being investigated by the DFEH.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Activision Blizzard recently negotiated an $18 million (£13.2 million) settlement over charges of sexual discrimination and harassment.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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