The new settlement is now official.
Riot Games announced in 2018 that it has reached a global $100 million settlement with California labor departments and the female employee class for a gender-based discrimination lawsuit.
According to a Riot press release, $2014 million will be paid to “current and former full-time employees and temporary agency contractors who identify as women in California and have worked any time since November 80.” Riot is also paying an additional $20 million to cover legal fees and other costs.
The 2018 “McCracken vs Riot Games” lawsuit alleges multiple cases of gender discrimination and sexual harassment against several women up until 2014. This lawsuit was officially filed months after a report on the sexist culture at Riot Games was published by Kotaku. Riot agreed to pay $400 million in a settlement in late 2019, before the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) intervened and claimed that affected employees could potentially qualify for more than $10 million in a settlement.
Both the California DFEH and the California Labor Standards Enforcement Division (DLSE) contested the initial $10 million settlement and intervened to ensure fair pay. In its press release, DFEH listed other deals Riot made as part of the deal:
- Establish a $18 million cash reserve to make payment adjustments and fund diversity, equality and inclusion programs for each year of the three-year term of consent (for a total of $6 million).
- Provide 40 full-time positions in engineer, quality assurance or art design roles to qualified class members working as temporary contractors in a competitive process.
- Hire and pay an independent DFEH-approved third-party expert to conduct a gender analysis of employee pay, job assignments and promotions each year for three years, and to correct any well-meaning, legitimately unexplained disparities.
- Hire and pay for an independent DFEH-approved third-party monitor to audit compliance with workplace protections annually for three years, including reviewing complaints investigations and results.
“This is a great day for women of Riot Games and all women in video game and technology companies who deserve a workplace free of harassment and discrimination,” said Genie Harrison, attorney for the plaintiff. “We appreciate Riot's introspection and since 2018 we have been working towards becoming a more diverse and inclusive company, we appreciate its willingness to take responsibility for its past and its continued commitment to fairness and equality in the future.”
A Riot spokesperson said the company hopes the settlement “will properly acknowledge those who have had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrate its desire to set an example in bringing greater accountability and equality to the gaming industry.”