Saturday, 20 July, 2019

Current and former employees file class action lawsuit against Riot Games

Riot Games is sued by female employees over alleged unequal pay sexual harassment Riot Games campus in West Los Angeles
Cecil Davis | 08 November, 2018, 19:16

Now, as of November 5th, it appears that two workers, one former and one current, are in the process of suing Riot Games on the grounds of gender-based discrimination through unequal pay, bias, and harassment.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages including all wages (base salary, bonuses, and stock), punitive damages, statutory and civil penalties, and legal fees. After reports had broken about inappropriate behavior at the company, McCracken says the male workers blamed her for it, and she was moved to another building, away from the main team. The 2,500-employee games company, which is 80% male, regularly turned down female applicants for not fitting the company's image of "core gamers", sources said.

This leads the way for numerous sexist behaviours, according to the lawsuit.

Kotaku has reported that there are still a number of "key alleged perpetrators of abusive behaviour" within Riot Games, despite the fact the company has apparently removed a number of those responsible in fostering toxic working conditions. She says that despite asking to be promoted, three other men were hired in succession, who all ended up quitting after a time.

The lawsuit complaint also says it wants to prevent Riot from "creating, encouraging, and maintaining a work environment that exposes its female employees to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of their gender or sex".

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The lawsuit offers several specific examples of how what it calls Riot's "bro culture" negatively affected female employees. But she was never actually interviewed for the job, which was ultimately given to a male employee; when that male employee left Riot in 2017, she inquired about the position and was told that her salary and job title would not be changing, despite the male employee being given a promotion and salary hike for doing the same job.

New details unknown in the first report from Kotaku were also mentioned in the lawsuit, specifically one account from Negron about comments made towards her by a supervisor.

Co-founder Brandon Beck was once again highlighted for using "no doesn't necessarily mean no" as a company slogan, and Negron's former supervisor, Geoff Chandler supposedly stated that "diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games' products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe-haven for white teen boys".

Melanie McCracken, one of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit and is still at Riot Games, revealed that she spoke about her experiences with the sexist culture, but said 'HR failed to keep the meeting confidential and leaked the information to her supervisor'. When she tried to ask for the promotion to the job, she instead was given the workload of the role, but without the title or pay that it came with.