League of Legends creator Riot Games has been on a rocky road to redemption. Since 2018 when Kotaku published a report detailing rampant sexism within the company. The company, which was founded in 2006, has decided to settle its discrimination lawsuit with 2,365 women to the tune of $80,000,000.
In addition to the current and former employee payouts, Riot Games has to set aside large chunks of change for the following according to PCMAG:
- $4m for Private Attorney General Act penalties.
- $18m reserve fund to pay for diversity, inclusion, and equity programs and provide pay adjustments.
Jurist reported on the exact amount the company would need to set aside for future corrective measures:
- A $6m cash reserve to afford third-party monitoring of nearly even level Riot Games business and hiring practices.
Riot Games was accused of harboring a “bro culture” where women’s ideas and input were secondary to their male counterparts. Allegedly, the unfair treatment spanned from promotions to pay to even how ideas were readily accepted if exposed by men, even if the same ideas were dismissed when coming from a woman just a short time prior. However, Kotaku also states that “some top female employees [told] Kotaku they had not personally experienced gender discrimination at Riot.” The initial investigation interviewed 28 former/current employees.
I doubt this is a lot of money to Riot Games, considering the popularity of League of Legends in eSports. However, suppose these reports from Kotaku and Yahoo! News are accurate. In that case, this could have been avoided if the company had made changes years ago rather than downplaying the severity of the accusations.
To put it bluntly, the suitable heads didn’t roll, and a massive lawsuit was inevitable. Understandably, some things on a day-to-day level may slip by a CEO or COO, but if sexism is the company’s most noticeable culture by employees, then there’s no excuse to feign ignorance. That is unless you’re a duplicitous snake, Nicolas Laurent.
Oddly, the settlement only addresses the concerns of the female employees, while COO Scott Gelb’s fondling of male employees’ genitals does not appear to be rectified. Perhaps this is part of another lawsuit or a different settlement yet publicized? Gelb was suspended for two months without pay in 2018, according to the company’s CEO Nicolo Laurent via PCMAG.
Nicolas Laurent is not without his issues. Yahoo! News reported earlier this year that his executive assistant was accusing the CEO of Riot Games, Sharon O’Donnell, of sexual harassment and retaliation for rejecting alleged intimate advances. Unfortunately, it may be a while before we know anything new about this case.
[Source: PCMAG] [Source: PCMAG] [Source: Jurist] [Source: Yahoo! News] [Source: Kotaku, Kotaku]