[UPDATED] Riot Games has proposed a collective settlement to every woman who has been employed by the company since 2014. The payout will be of at least $10 million, over gender discrimination charges, according to court documents filed this Monday.
The company has around 2,500 employees around the world and nearly 1,000 employees who self-identify as female who have worked at Riot Games in the past five years will be entitled to a payment from the agreed settlement, with the final dollar amount depending on how long the employee has serviced the company.
Updated on December 3rd: According to former Riot Games employee Jessie Perlo, women who signed releases or took severance when they left the company are not eligible to receive payouts.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, a Riot Games spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent.”
The laswsuit began in November of last year, with two female employees who had worked at the company's Santa Monica offices suing over violations of the California Equal Pay act. The lawsuit alleged gender discrimination and sexual harassment were part of the daily routine of Riot Games.
The company was accused of abusing its power, forcing its employees into arbitration, which led the employees to stage a walkout, being the first of its kind in the gaming industry. Riot Games pledged to waive the forced arbitration clause for sexual harassment and assault once the case was resolved.
Riot Games has taken steps to provide equal pay, include more women in its leadership and change the company's culture, which was described by female employees as "bro-culture". Gaming News website Kotaku first exposed the predominant sexist behavior present in the comapany, reporting that according to "over a dozen women and three men, across different disciplines at Riot, agreed that women were regularly spoken over by louder, male voices".
A current employee told Kotaku: “It’s difficult to heal and move on when we are faced with the reality that at the end of the day, Riot prefers to pay the women still here for the trouble of continuing to work with alleged abusers", regarding the continuation of the contract of employees who were named in the lawsuit.