This is a tenfold increase from Riot’s proposed settlement of $10 million. This agreement was blocked by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) which argued that victims should be entitled to up to $400 million.
Gender has become an increasingly hot topic in the games industry over the past several years amid a growing push for equality, with employees at companies such as BioWare, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard also speaking out about discrimination they experienced. Employees at Riot were some of the first to bring the issue to light.
Riot disciplined female staff for private social media posts
This ruling puts an end to the case which began in 2018, due to reports of women being passed up for promotion and belittled in a workplace beset by so-called “bro-culture”. In one example, multiple female employees were disciplined for posting pictures of themselves in swimwear on their social media pages, despite these photos being in-line with the developer’s social media policy.
More than 2,000 women who worked at Riot Games between November 2014 and December 2021 are entitled to compensation.
Additionally, Riot has agreed to third-party oversight for the next three years to ensure a fair and equitable work environment for female employees. The company will also implement pay transparency and re-evaluate its hiring and selection process.
“I am so glad we achieved this first step toward justice for the women of Riot Games,” said plaintiff Jes Negron. “I hope this case serves as an example for other studios and an inspiration for women in the industry at large. Women in gaming do not have to suffer inequity and harassment in silence – change is possible.”
“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 employment and sexual harassment lawyer Genie Harrison, who represented the plaintiffs.
Amid the recent push for equality within the games space, we spoke to Rovio's Claire Rozain regarding harmful stereotypes and misogyny in targeted ads.