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Verdicts & Settlements

Riot Games Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit for $100m

— December 28, 2021

Riot will also allow a third party to manage its job assignments and ensure equity in pay and treatment.

Riot Games will pay an estimated $100 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by former female employees and several California state-level agencies in 2018.

According to CNN, the Tencent Holding subsidiary said that it will pay $80 million to members of a class action, which comprises current and former full-time female employees, as well as some temporary agency contractors.

Eligible members of the class include women who were employed or worked at Riot Games from November 2014 until the present.

An additional $20 million, says CNN, will paid to settle attorneys’ fees and other miscellaneous legal expenses.

The settlement also contains non-financial provisions: Riot Games will, for instance, be obliged to fund a diversity and inclusion program, subject itself workplace audits, and hire a third party to approve job assignments.

Riot Games Headquarters
Riot Games Headquarters; image courtesy of Chris Yunker via Wikimedia Commons, Originally posted at: (CCA-BY-2.0).

“In an effort to drive ongoing transparency and accountability, Riot has also committed to having its internal reporting and pay equity processes monitored by a third party jointly approved by Riot and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for three years,” the company said in a statement.

CNN notes that the settlement is still subject to court approval; a hearing will be scheduled some time in the next several months.

“Women have been demanding for years that employers end discrimination. We hope this settlement marks a turning point in the way allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination are treated in workplaces across California and beyond,” a Department of Fair Employment and Housing spokesperson told CNN.

As has reported before, the lawsuit was filed in November 2018 after two female employees claimed Riot Games’ California office tolerated gender discrimination and the regular sexual harassment of women workers.

The lawsuit, adds CNN, was filed shortly after gaming publication Kotaku published an investigation into Riot Games’ purported culture of sexism.

While Riot was initially expected to settle with its workers for $10 million, two California state agencies—the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement—intervened, saying the award amount was insufficient.

“Three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what became a reckoning in our industry. We had to face the fact that despite our best intentions, we hadn’t always lived up to our values. As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologize, correct course, and build a better Riot. We chose the latter,” Riot said in a statement. “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 and demonstrates our desire to lead by example in bringing more accountability and equality to the games industry.”


Riot Games agrees to pay $100 million settlement in gender discrimination lawsuit

Riot Games will pay $100 million to settle discrimination lawsuit

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