Back in 2018, former Riot Games employees Melanie McCracken and Jes Negrón filed a class action suit against the League of Legends publisher over endemic gender-based discrimination and fostering a “men-first” environment. A settlement has now been reached.
The lawsuit was originally filed three months after a Kotaku investigation into the company’s sexist culture.
Riot has agreed to pay $80 million to members of the class action suit and another $20 million in attorney’s fees and miscellaneous expenses, for a total of $100 million. This global settlement spans from 2014 to present and includes all current and former full-time employees as well as temporary contracts in California who identify as women. The settlement is currently awaiting court approval.
Moreover, Riot has also agreed to having a third party approved by both the company and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) monitor pay equity and internal reporting for three years.
“This is a great day for the women of Riot Games—and for women at all video game and tech companies—who deserve a workplace that is free of harassment and discrimination,” said Genie Harrison, the plaintiff’s counsel, in an official statement. “We appreciate Riot’s introspection and work since 2018 toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive company, its willingness to take responsibility for its past, and its commitment to continued fairness and equality in the future.”
“I’m honored to represent the resilient women of Riot Games and to help achieve this settlement on their behalf. We hope women everywhere take note and demand the fair pay and treatment to which they are entitled under the law,” said Joseph M. Lovretovich, who also represented the plaintiffs.
In an official statement, Riot Games acknowledged that while it’s come far from 2018, it must take responsibility for its past actions. “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.”