Riot Games was sued on accusations of gender discrimination by a group of former female employees last year. The initial report in August 2018 has led to an employee walkout and a full-on legal battle, in which Riot Games most recently defended itself from ‘false narratives and unfair claims’ after the new legal team of the former employees is seeking a significantly larger payout from the League of Legends developer.
The new legal team of the former Riot employees has withdrawn the proposed settlement of $10 million, saying that their clients deserve more in damages to the tune of $400 million. This is a direct result of state labor groups like the California Department it Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) re-evaluating the legal damages from the case and announcing that the newer, significantly larger sum was a far more accurate representation of what the former employees deserved.
Women’s rights attorney Genie Harrison, who is publicly representing the group of former Riot Employees, explained the new development in a statement to Gamespot:
"These brave women spoke out against gender inequality and sexism, and I want to make sure they are fairly compensated. Our well-qualified statisticians are already analyzing pay data. We intend to recover the compensation due to the women of Riot Games and achieve institutional reform, in order to level the playing field for women."
Riot Games most recent statement on this matter is in response to the exponential increase of potential financial settlement, stating that the new numbers evaluated by the DFEH have “no basis in fact or reason”, a significant departure from the company’s stance on the original settlement value of $10 million being “fair and accurate." The full statement from Riot Games reads as follows:
"Throughout this process we’ve focused on reaching a resolution that's fair to everyone involved, while continuing to demonstrate our commitment to the transformative journey we've been on for the past 18 months. We understand that the plaintiffs’ new counsel needs adequate time to review the proposed settlement agreement and we respect that.
That said, the analysis and discussions which led to the earlier proposed settlement were comprehensive and thorough, and we believe that the proposal was fair and adequate under the circumstances. We’re committed to working collaboratively to reach a resolution that reflects our commitment to move forward together, but it needs to be one that is justified by the underlying facts.
It has been our position from the beginning to do the right thing by the plaintiffs as well as Riot, and we will continue to do just that. With respect to the numbers posited by the DFEH, we'll say again that there is no basis in fact or reason that would justify that level of exposure and we believe that any assertions to the contrary can simply not be made in good faith.
While we have acknowledged that there is work that we needed to do to better live up to our values, we have also made clear to our employees that we will defend ourselves against false narratives and unfair claims that do nothing to remedy any hardships of actual class members."