Back in August of this year, Riot Games, the development team behind the incredibly popular League of Legends, were accused of sexist conduct by former and current employees. An investigation by Kotaku uncovered damning testimony about the companies operations that included prioritising men for management positions, ignoring and belittling the opinions of women, and inappropriate and sexual behaviour targeted at women.
Now, the company is being sued by one former and one current employee on the grounds of gender discrimination. According to Kotaku, the lawsuit alleges that:
“like many of Riot Games’ female employees, Plaintiffs have been denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they are women. Moreover, Plaintiffs have also seen their working conditions negatively impacted because of the ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias which predominate the sexually-hostile working environment of Riot Games.”
Specifically, the case filed against Riot Games suggests that Riot is in breach of California’s Equal Pay Act. The plaintiffs are looking for compensation on unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties.
Since the original Kotaku investigation back in August, Riot Games had released a statement suggesting they would make sweeping changes to the companies actions and culture. They also fired many of the staff members explicitly called out for sexist behaviour. However it will take a lot to change an organisation who seems stuck so far in the past when it comes to gender equality and a fair and safe workplace.
The lawsuit is now underway and we can only hope it results in a workplace that values the contribution of women as much as men, evens out the pay gap that exists, and makes the workplace safer for its female employees. Only time will tell.