Saturday, October 1, 2022

Esports giant Riot settles discrimination case for $100M AP News

LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) — Riot Games, the publisher behind esports giant “League of Legends,” to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging pay disparity, gender discrimination and sexual harassment Agreed on Monday night.

The lawsuit was filed in November 2018 when gaming website Kotaku published a story detailing a sexist culture at Los Angeles-based Riot Games regarding promotions to women, unwanted sexual advances, and the legality of their video games from men. Interrogation of women was involved. Other former employees later came out with similar claims.

The California Department of Fair Employment said the lawsuit will resolve violations against more than 1,000 female workers and 1,300 female contract workers. Riot has also agreed to improve the situation and provide a more equitable workplace for female employees and applicants.

“I am delighted that we have achieved this first step toward justice for the women of Riot Games,” former employee and plaintiff Jess Negron said in a statement. “I hope this case will serve as an example to other studios and an inspiration to women in the industry. Women in gaming do not face inequality and harassment in silence – change is possible.”

The “League of Legends” is the most popular esport in the world, and Riot Games operates 12 of its own professional international leagues. The publisher said that in November the player base for games in the “League of Legends” universe had exceeded 180 million players per month.

The lawsuit, filed in November 2018, alleges equal pay violations, gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation against female employees. A $10 million settlement was reached in December 2019, but two California agencies — the Departments of Fair Employment and Housing and Labor Standards Enforcement — opposed it on the belief that it was done in haste.

New attorneys were hired, and two years later, Monday’s settlement was announced by new lawyers for Riot and Plaintiffs.

Riot has agreed to hire a third-party expert to conduct an equity analysis of its employment practices, provide pay transparency, and provide $6 to fund diversity, equity and inclusion programs over the next three years. million cash reserve, among other changes.

In a statement, Riot said the company was on the cusp of “becoming a reckoning in our industry” and that it “has not always lived up to our values.”

“While we are proud of how far we have come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past,” it said. “We hope that this agreement properly acknowledges those who have had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrates our desire to lead by example in bringing greater accountability and equality to the games industry.”

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More Associated Press exports: https://apnews.com/hub/esports and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_Sports

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