RIOT Games has been ordered to pay $100million (£84million) to former and current employees who identify as women over gendered discrimination, including a gender pay gap.
Thousands of full-time and contracted employees who have served at the company since 2014 are set to receive payouts from the company.
League of Legends developed by Riot is one of the world’s most popular esports.
In 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed accusing the company of widespread gender discrimination.
In 2019, both parties had agreed to a $10million (£8.4million) payout before it was rejected by California’s Department of Fair Employment.
The department believed that Riot should pay $400million (£333million), a figure which Riot’s legal team called “unfounded and excessive.”
In December 2021, the studio agreed to the $100million payout which was approved by the court last Friday.
Speaking to Axios, one of the suit’s plaintiffs said:
“My hope is that this serves as a wake-up call for the whole industry.
“We’ve set a precedent that the sexist behavior that runs rampant at gaming companies is unacceptable and, when companies are unwilling to address it themselves in a meaningful way, women have options to get justice.
“Companies everywhere, in and out of gaming, need to do some deep self-reflection and be proactive about being better.”
Riot issued a statement in December when it announced the settlement, saying:
“As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologise, correct course, and build a better Riot. We chose the latter.
“While we’re proud of how far we’ve come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past.”
Aside from the money laid out in the settlement, another measure has been introduced.
Riot has agreed to have its pay monitored for discrepancies by a third-party for three years following the settlement.
Both Riot and the legal team on behalf of the plaintiffs agreed that the company has made a number of positive changes to the company culture since the lawsuit was first actioned.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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