Riot Games will pay $100 million for discrimination and harassment

Riot Games will pay $100 million to settle a discrimination and harassment case brought by more than 2,000 employees, the California Civil Rights Agency announced Monday.

As part of the deal, the “League of Legends” game developer will spend at least $80 million on workers’ compensation. The company will also create an $18 million reserve over three years to make salary adjustments and fund diversity, equity and inclusion programs, according to the announcement.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) first notified Riot in October 2018 of its investigation into allegations of harassment and discrimination, and employees filed a class action lawsuit a month later seeking relief. a $10 million settlement proposal.

In January 2020, the DFEH and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) intervened and opposed the proposed $10 million settlement.

State agencies have reportedly argued that women could be entitled to more than $400 million in potential back wages based on gender pay gaps, according to the Los Angeles Times.

If approved by the Los Angeles Supreme Court, the $100 million settlement “will send the message that all industries in California, including the gaming industry, must provide equal pay and exempt workplaces. discrimination and harassment,” DFEH Director Kevin Kish said in a statement. .

In an emailed statement, Riot said the company was “proud of how far we’ve come” since 2018, but “must also take responsibility for the past.”

“We hope this settlement will properly recognize those who have had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrate our desire to lead by example in bringing more accountability and equality to the gaming industry,” the company said.

The settlement comes as another gaming company, Activision Blizzard, faces a legal challenge over allegations of harassment and discrimination. The company dismissed the allegations when the complaint was filed in July.

The lawsuit against Activision Blizzard led employees to stage a walkout and caused an upheaval in company management.

Updated at 1:20 p.m.

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