Riot Settles Lawsuit, Will Pay Every Female Employee Since 2014 With $14.6 Million Fund

Riot Settles Lawsuit, Will Pay Every Female Employee Since 2014 With $14.6 Million Fund
Riot Games’ Offices (Photo: Chris Yunker/Flickr)

Riot Games will pay out a huge $US10 million ($14.6 million) proposed settlement collectively to every woman who has been employed by the company at any time over the last five years. The settlement is one of the largest in California history for a gender discrimination suit, says the plaintiff’s lawyer.

The payout, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, marks a sweet moment of justice for women at Riot, who have been systematically disadvantaged working at the giant gaming company according to a 2018 Kotaku investigation.

Our report described rampant sexism at Riot, manifesting in its hiring and promotion practices and “bro” office culture, which sometimes encouraged harassment and gender discrimination. The suit, filed November, 2018, also describes how women at the League of Legends publisher were paid less than men in the same or a similar position.

A copy of the proposed settlement obtained by Kotaku notes that each lawsuit participant will receive some amount of money determined by “their tenure, length and status” as an employee. One reason for the large sum is to make up for what plaintiffs’ lawyer determined was a significant difference in salary between men and women at the company.

Ryan Saba, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said in a statement that “This shows that Riot is serious about changing the culture at the company.” Riot told Kotaku in an email that “We are pleased that a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit against Riot was filed recently by plaintiffs counsel.

The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the Industry’s best talent.” Riot linked to a blog post further elaborating on their perspective.

Over the last year, Riot has undertaken several steps to mitigate its culture of sexism, including overhauling its recruitment, hiring and promotion processes; offering clearer job descriptions; removing problem employees; bringing in third-party culture consultants and a diversity director; appointing women into leadership positions; and offering employees channels to offer feedback on their progress.

In August, current employees told Kotaku that the company had made real progress fixing its issues. Unfortunately, several said that progress was undercut by Riot’s continued employment of senior male employees named in the lawsuit who, sources say, have exhibited harmful workplace behaviour.

Said one current employee, “It’s great that Riot has decided to compensate women for the abuse they suffered here, but their rhetoric about ‘healing and moving on’ leaves something to be desired.” She continued, “It’s difficult to heal and move on when we are faced with the reality that at the end of the day, Riot prefers to pay the women still here for the trouble of continuing to work with alleged abusers.” 


  • As a settlement I would imagine the recipients would no longer be able to speak about the issues.
    That’s all well and good if they genuinely intend to change but a sticky plaster on a festering wound if they don’t.

    • You’d hope if that were the case then people within the company who are not recipients under the agreement (eg male employees, or female employees who join after this settlement), and therefore not bound by its conditions, will still speak out

      • One of the problems originally was that speaking out got them nowhere until certain journo’s got the word out. I have some issues with the framing of this incident given everything i have read some of the male employee’s were sexually assaulted yet the narrative is still women most effected.

        I understand this settlement is about discrimination so obviously wouldn’t deal with the other issues and can only compensate the women involved who were treated badly. I just don’t understand why there is no outrage over the other things done and seemingly no push to hold rioters accountable for the other crimes.

        Perhaps i just don’t have all the information i know that in my case had a supervisor grabbed my genitals i would have immediately knocked him on his ass, so maybe the other issues have been dealt with outside the legal system.

        • I think you will find that there is plenty of outrage over the other things done, as evidenced by the fact that you are well aware of them yourself. It’s just not the subject of this particular legal settlement. A great number of people think that Riot sucks dog balls, and not just for their treatment of women.

          • i was well aware of them after looking into them further after having them mentioned in passing in the various articles on this site, perhaps there was ‘plenty of outrage’ i just never seemed to run across any so i will take your word for it.

            i am aware of and mentioned the legal parameters of this settlement btw.

            The rest of your reply had me laughing, the dog balls part i imagined tomorrow an article about a riot employee being charged with Canine interference and nobody being surprised about it.

  • how long until the next lawsuit since this payout is discriminating against the male employees purely based on their gender.

    • Nice troll, but sure, I’ll bite.

      The settlement isn’t discriminating against anyone, it’s compensating people for the discrimination they suffered, the point of which is to return the victims to something closer to the ‘equality’ they would have experienced had systematic discrimination not taken place.

      Male employees have lost nothing because they haven’t been systematically discriminated against.

        • It’s almost as if the ‘gender wars’ are a battle between two equally powerful and influential sides trying to dislodge each other from the top of the leaderboards, as opposed to, say, one side fighting systematic discrimination in wages and promotional opportunities and a toxic and sexist bro-culture and another side trying to maintain those things.

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