Riot Games Are Being Sued Over Gender Discrimination

Donna Miller
November 7, 2018

Beginning with a Kotaku report three months ago, a number of former and current employees of Riot Games stepped forward in the League of Legends community, sharing what it's like to work at Riot Games as a woman.

According to the lawsuit reported by Kotaku, little has changed since the company's "bro culture" was revealed, suggesting that "Riot Games is simply sweeping these allegations under the rug with empty investigations and counselling, while protecting bad actors from any repercussion".

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".

Riot violated California's Equal Pay Act and law against gender-based discrimination at the workplace, the complaint argues.

Employees in the lawsuit are seeking 'compensation on unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties, with an exact amount to be determined at trial'. They also ask the court to certify the suit as class action. Plaintiffs Jessica Negron, an ex-employee, and Melanie McCracken, still employed, are looking to receive compensation for improper treatment during their time at Riot, with the following stories describing their greivances.

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As mentioned in previous reports from Kotaku, Riot has 80% male staff and has previously spiked female interviewees because they did not fit their ideal of "core gamers".

While Riot has appeared to have removed numerous people involved in creating this sexist culture, according to several and former employees of Riot, there are still a few on board who are "key alleged perpetrators of abusive behaviour", according to Kotaku's reporting.

One of the goals of the lawsuit is to end Riot Games' alleged practice of paying men more than women when they fill the same role and promoting men more frequently than women. Riot did not immediately respond to Kotaku's request for comment about the lawsuit.

McCracken states that for the past five years that she has worked for Riot Games, she was also denied promotions, which she ascertains are due to her gender, and not her capabilities.

Negron's claim is that she was hired onto the company, but once her manager left shortly after her hiring, she was forced to take on all of her superior's duties, but was not promoted to the job title that she was filling in for, or paid more for her extra work.

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