×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Current and Former Riot Games Employees File Gender Discrimination Suit

One current and one former employee of “League of Legends” developer Riot Games are suing it for discrimination, harassment, and violation of the California Equal Pay Act, Kotaku reports.

The lawsuit is seeking class action status. It was filed in a California court on Tuesday, lawyer Ryan Saba told Variety. The plaintiffs, Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron, allege that many women working at Riot have been denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they’re women. They also say their working conditions were negatively impacted by ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias.

The lawsuit comes months after a detailed Kotaku investigation into Riot Games’ alleged “bro” culture. About 28 current and former employees spoke to the outlet for the story. Negron was one of those people. She worked at Riot for two years and said she took on additional responsibilities after her boss left, but was never compensated and was never granted an interview for the job. Three different men were given the chance to fill the position instead.

McCracken started at Riot in 2013. She claimed her supervisor, Jin Oh, created a harassing and hostile work environment for the employees who reported to him. Oh discriminated against women based on their gender, the lawsuit said. Specifically, he didn’t hire women to fill vacancies in senior employment positions. He allegedly hired women only for assistant positions, saying it would “feel weird having a male” in that role. McCracken later took a new position in the North America region. When Oh was named the new temporary head of that region, the outgoing supervisor reportedly told McCracken she “had a target on her back.” She was allegedly given a five-month countdown to find a new position or “be fired.”

Riot Games operates 24 offices worldwide and employs approximately 2,500 people, 80% of whom are male, according to the lawsuit. It reportedly looks for “core gamers” during its hiring process. While the term is ostensibly meant to promote the hiring and advancement of people who are hard core video game fans, the lawsuit states it’s an unwritten policy and practice of preferring men to women.

Additionally, one of Negron’s former supervisors once allegedly said “diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games’ products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe haven for white teen boys.”

Following Kotaku’s investigative report, Riot apologized to its employees, fans, and partners and promised change. “We will weave this change into our cultural DNA and leave no room for sexism or misogyny,” it said. “Inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality are all non-negotiable. While there is much to improve, there is a tremendous amount of good at Riot that will drive this change. This is our top priority until we get it right.” It said it would expand its Diversity & Inclusion Initiative and it hired strategy and leadership expert Frances Frei to help with its diversity roadmap.

The lawsuit is asking for punitive damages and all wages due to the plaintiffs under the California Labor Code, in an amount to be determined at trial.

Variety reached out to Riot Games for comment and it responded with the following statement:

“While we do not discuss the details of ongoing litigation, we can say that we take every allegation of this nature seriously and investigate them thoroughly. We remain committed to a deep and comprehensive evolution of our culture to ensure Riot is a place where all Rioters thrive. We’ve shared our progress here: https://www.riotgames.com/en/how-were-evolving.”

Complaint by on Scribd

More Gaming

  • 'Operencia' Developers Gamify Their Own Eastern

    'Operencia' Developers Gamify Their Own Eastern European Mythology

    They say the best stories come from truth, things you personally relate to. For Zen Studios, the minds behind first-person role-playing game ‘Operencia: The Stolen Sun’, that meant taking their own country’s mythology and transforming into a fantasy world. “It’s all based around Central European mythology, Zen Studios is based in Hungary. So a lot [...]

  • 'Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled' Includes Remastered

    'Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled' Includes Remastered 'Crash Nitro Kart' Content

    “Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled” bringing the classic kart racer back with remastered content from the original “Crash Nitro Kart.” “Nitro-Fueled” will include all thirteen of “Crash Nitro Kart’s” original tracks, which have been updated to match the “CTR” experience. In addition, remastered karts, battle arenas, and battle modes from “Crash Nitro Kart” will be included [...]

  • 'Observation' Brings Artificial Intelligence Thriller to

    'Observation' Brings Artificial Intelligence Thriller to PS4 on May 21

    “Observation,” the upcoming title from “Untold Stories” developer No Code, will launch for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR players on May 21. “Observation” is a sci-fi thriller uncovering what happened to Dr. Emma Fisher and her crew, as seen through the lens of the station’s artificial intelligence S.A.M. Players take on the role of S.A.M., [...]

  • PSVR's 'Blood & Truth' Hits May

    PSVR's 'Blood & Truth' Hits May 28

    “Blood & Truth,” the PlayStation VR action thriller set in modern-day London, hits the PlayStation 4 and its VR headset on May 28, PlayStation announced during its State of Play video Monday evening. The game focuses on Ryan Marks, an elite Special Forces soldier who is on a dangerous mission to save his family from [...]

  • 'Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help

    'Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted' Comes to PSVR This Spring

    “Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted” is making the jump to virtual reality via PlayStation VR this spring. In the new virtual reality installment of the jump scare-laden horror game, you’ll try to survive levels from the original games in addition to “all-new nightmares,” Sony announced during the presentation. This is the first time [...]

  • Dungeon Crawler 'ReadySet Heroes' Coming 2019

    Dungeon Crawler 'ReadySet Heroes' Coming 2019

    Sony revealed “ReadySet Heroes,” a new dungeon crawler coming to PlayStation 4, on Monday. The announcement came as a part of Sony’s first ever State of Play broadcast. Described as a fast-paced multiplayer game, the twist for this dungeon crawler is that as you are making your way through the dungeon, so is another team. [...]

  • 'Iron Man VR' Coming to PlayStation

    'Marvel's Iron Man VR' Coming to PlayStation VR in 2019

    “Marvel’s Iron Man VR” is coming to PlayStation VR this year, it was announced during Monday’s State of Play presentation. In a cinematic video shown during the presentation, we see the player take on the point of view of Tony Stark from inside of the Iron Man suit, as he flies through the air and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content