Riot Games Paying Out $100 Million Gender Discrimination Settlement

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A judge has approved Riot Games’ agreement to pay out $100 million to settle a gender discrimination case that was brought against the company. 

The payouts range from four to five figures and will be paid out to over 1,000 women who previously worked at Riot Games, as well as contractors who worked with the company.

The settlement was reportedly approved on July 22 with additional details regarding the measures Riot will be taking to improve their workplace culture. 

Firstly, Riot Games intends to appoint an independent contractor who will investigate alleged pay disparities. The developer has been told to hire up to 40 qualified women working in temporary positions to full-time positions within the company. These positions range across various departments, including engineering, art, design and quality assurance.

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Speaking to Axios, former Riot developer Jes Negrón and lawsuit plaintiff Jes Negrón reflected on the settlement agreement. “My hope is that this serves as a wake-up call for the whole industry. We’ve set a precedent that the sexist behaviour 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.”

The case was originally agreed to be settled for $10 million before the California Department for Fair Employment and Housing stepped in and pushed for more money, with the figure eventually landing at $100 million. 

The aforementioned California Department for Fair Employment and Housing is currently leading another suit against Activision Blizzard, also for gender discrimination. In the wake of the lawsuit, a couple of employee unions have sprung up at the company.

This decision is undoubtedly a positive step for the gaming industry, as large studios are being held to account for their often toxic work cultures. 

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