Riot Games, the creators of popular titles such as League of Legends and Valorant, have settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $100 million. $80 million of that money will go directly to former and current employees affected, while the remaining $20 million will go towards legal costs. Additionally, the company has agreed to work with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing to improve its internal reporting and fair pay practices for the next three years.
Reports of sexual harassment at the company exploded back in 2018 after a Kotaku expose. Some employees reported that bosses or colleagues would send unsolicited pictures of genitalia. Others reported that male employees would frequently talk about sleeping with female employees, including people in management positions. Gender discrimination was also allegedly rampant, as higher-ups would chastise female employees for being “aggressive” while praising their male colleagues for their “grit”.
The whole thing came to a head when Riot Games stated that the affected parties could not sue them due to mandatory arbitration. Put simply, the employees could not sue the company as they had signed a paper waiving the right to do so when they joined Riot. In response, Riot employees staged a walkout in 2019, prompting the company to reverse the decision.
Over two years later, the company has agreed to pay a large sum of money to settle the issue. Only time will tell whether Riot Games’ culture of gender discrimination and sexual harassment will disappear for good.