Riot Games settles gender discrimination class action lawsuit

Employees say that the settlement is "a victory for women in games"

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August 23, 2019 Riot Games has settled in employees’ class action lawsuit over gender discrimination.

League of Legends developer Riot Games has settled in its class action lawsuit concerning issues of gender discrimination at the company. In a tweet last night, employees involved in the suit posted a statement confirming that the suit has been settled.

The statement from Rioters Against Forced Arbitration confirms the settlement of the lawsuit, but says that “other suits that went into arbitration are still pending.” It goes on to say that “settling this class action is a victory for women in games. We believe that this & Riot’s policy changes help continue the progress toward equality that we’ve made over the past year.”

“While this settlement helps bring peace of mind to women at Riot, we want to acknowledge that issues of discrimination and harassment go beyond gender, and acknowledge the victims who aren’t covered in this suit. This settlement is an important step on the journey of making the games industry a more diverse and welcoming place, but the fight is far from over. Making Riot – and the entire industry – more inclusive is an ongoing process, and we are excited to see this big step in the right direction.”

In its own blog post, Riot said that “we’re pleased to announce that we’ve come to an agreement in principle to settle the class action lawsuit filed against Riot.” The company’s statement also says that “we’re hopeful that the settlement will allow us to continue our momentum […] in making Riot a leader in inclusive workplaces.

As well as allegations of gender discrimination, many of Riot’s legal issues over the past 12 months stem from its policy of forced arbitration, which means that employees are contractually obligated to take complaints that would normally be resolved through the traditional legal system into a private system without a jury or judge.

Riot has changed some aspects of its approach to forced arbitration, and back in May stated that “we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual secual harassment and sexual assault claims.” Currently, other Rioters are still subject to forced arbitration.

Since Kotaku’s expansive report on sexual harassment and discrimination at Riot last year, the company has publicly vowed to improve its culture, though it remains to be seen how effective those efforts will be over time. Riot’s diversity efforts expanded earlier this year as the company announced it had hired Angela Roseboro, formerly of Dropbox, as its first chief diversity officer.