The League of Legends and VALORANT developer will settle for $100 million after months of arbitration.
Riot Games has officially settled the class-action gender discrimination lawsuit and forced arbitration case leveled against it. The company will pay over 100 million dollars in settlement, with $80 million towards the affected parties and $20 million towards legal fees. The news was revealed early on Tuesday, December 28th, in a press release by the company.
The $80 million will be distributed to encompass all current and former full-time employees and temporary agency contractors in California who identify as women and worked anytime from November 2014 to the present. Some estimate this would affect around 2,300 workers, which would average approximately $34,000 per person. All settlements are pending final approval by the court.
Working towards the $100 Million
The payout is a sizable increase from the $10 million initially offered when Riot Games first attempted to settle the case in December 2019. In 2020, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing intervened in the case, stating that the number was far below current standards and guidelines. Instead, a true figure would have reportedly been $400 million.
Riot had initially balked at this number, calling it “a clickbait number designed to get attention.” For both parties, this eventual payout of $100 million will perhaps be a welcome compromise. Although for many, this is still not enough.
In addition to the payout from the lawsuit, Riot Games has reportedly made other commitments. Such as having its internal reporting and pay equity process monitored by a third party for three years.
“As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologize, correct course, and build a better Riot. We chose the latter. We’re incredibly grateful to every Rioter who has worked to create a culture where inclusivity is the norm, where we’re deeply committed to fairness and equality, and where embracing diversity fuels creativity and innovation.”Riot Games Official Statement
Only Just the Beginning
However, Riot Games will struggle to erase the memories of being, as they state, “at the heart of what became a reckoning in our industry.” Faced with employee walkouts, sponsors cutting ties, a CEO cleared of harassment charges by internal review, and constant reminders of the toxic “bro culture” it allegedly helped harbor, Riot has only just begun to make amends.
It is important to note that this is not the end of the legal woes for Riot Games. Riot still has a pair of additional cases on their hands. In February 2021, CEO Nicolo Laurent was sued for alleged discrimination and sexual harassment. Meanwhile, another suit by Yoko Colby alleges wrongful termination following a campaign of discrimination.
This is a small victory for the members of the Riot Games class-action lawsuit—others still have a long way to go.