Riot Games may face $400 million lawsuit settlement as original sum arose from “improprieties”

Riot Games may face $400 million lawsuit settlement as original sum arose from “improprieties”
Imogen Donovan Updated on by

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Update, February 24, 9.02am:

We’ve been supplied a statement from a Riot Games representative regarding the ongoing lawsuit. “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.”

Original story, February 21, 11.34am:

Riot Games could face a proposed settlement of $400 million for its ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit, because the original settlement of $10 million was deemed to be incorrect (via GameSpot).

This original settlement was rejected by the courts on January 31, and as a result, a new team of lawyers have been brought on by the plaintiff. “Alleged mistakes and improprieties by prior class counsel” were made in the calculations, which would have drawn compensation for every female Riot Games employee from a $10 million fund. Women’s rights attorney Genie Harrison and employment lawyer Joseph Lovretovich will take over the legal counsel from now on.

“These brave women spoke out against gender inequality and sexism, and I want to make sure they are fairly compensated,” said Harrison. “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.” If the proposed settlement of $400 million is accepted, approximately 1,000 female employees will gain a sum that depends on their position as a full-time or contractor and the time that they were employed by the company. 

The gender discrimination lawsuit was filed in 2018. A report alleged that Riot Games allowed “abusive behaviour” in the workplace which targeted women. One former employee was asked “if it was hard working at Riot being so cute,” and another found out that she was “on a list getting passed around by senior leaders detailing who they’d sleep with.”

The League of Legends developer emphasised that it is committed to “making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent,” in new strategies and systems to make recruitment less biased and more transparent. It was disappointed that the proposed settlement had risen to $400 million, and called it “a clickbait number” that undermined the work it has done since 2018. “We don't step into these types of cases lightly, but where questions of fairness and justice are at stake, we want to ensure these class representatives are getting the justice they seek,” said Lovretovich.