As many of you know, there have been a few lawsuits filed against Riot since last year, including a proposed class action that alleged claims of gender discrimination in pay and promotion, sexual harassment, and retaliation against women working at Riot offices in California.
We’ve taken these claims very seriously and have been working on many fronts to review and address the lawsuits and the concerns that were raised. We’ve done a deep dive into our past, our culture, and our systems and processes. Last August, we announced our First Steps Forward, and those steps continue today. We will continue to strive to be a great company and one that cares about its employees and its players.
After extensively reviewing these issues, we can confidently state that gender discrimination (in pay or promotion), sexual harassment, and retaliation are not systemic issues at Riot.
But, what we also learned during this process was that some Rioters have had experiences that did not live up to our values or culture. In addition, we’ve encountered considerable fatigue among Rioters, who have been drained by constant engagement with the internal and external dialogues emerging from these lawsuits and recurring media cycles.
We made a commitment to Rioters that we would be willing to take the steps necessary to build trust and to demonstrate that we’re serious about Riot evolving into an excellent place to work for all Rioters. Under these circumstances, we’ve had to look critically at our litigation approach to the class action lawsuit. While we believed that we had a strong position to litigate, we realized that in the long run, doing what is best for both Riot and Rioters was our ideal outcome. Therefore, rather than entrench ourselves and continue to litigate, we chose to pivot and try to take an approach that we believe best demonstrates our commitment to owning our past, and to healing the company so that we can move forward together.
As such, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve come to an agreement in principle to settle the class action lawsuit against Riot.
We realize that this is a path that many companies in our position may not have chosen, but we felt it was the strongest statement we could make to Rioters, and prospective Rioters, that we’re prepared to go over and above in order to move forward. Both sides believe that this proposed settlement, once finalized, is fair for all parties involved. In addition, we’re hopeful that the settlement will allow us to continue our momentum (as described here and here) in making Riot a leader in inclusive workplaces.
At this time, we’re still early in the process and cannot share the details, but wanted to keep our promise to be as transparent and timely as possible in communicating. We’re continuing to work with the class plaintiffs and their counsel to finalize the details. Most importantly, we want to emphasize that any proposed settlement will be subject to the Court’s oversight, and the Court will need to review and approve all details of any agreement. We want to be respectful of this process.
A joint press release from plaintiff's counsel and Riot is below:
Preliminary Settlement Agreement Reached in Lawsuit Filed by Women Against Riot Games
August 22, 2019 - LOS ANGELES - All parties have reached an agreement in principle today to resolve the class action case against Riot Games.
"This is a very strong settlement agreement that provides meaningful and fair value to class members for their experiences at Riot Games," said Ryan Saba of Rosen Saba, LLP, the attorney representing the plaintiffs. "This is a clear indication that Riot is dedicated to making progress in evolving its culture and employment practices. A number of significant changes to the corporate culture have been made, including increased transparency and industry-leading diversity and inclusion programs. The many Riot employees who spoke up, including the plaintiffs, significantly helped to change the culture at Riot."
The parties will now move toward seeking court approval of the proposed settlement, and we will provide additional details about its terms when that filing takes place.
"We are grateful for every Rioter who has come forward with their concerns and believe this resolution is fair for everyone involved," said Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games. "With this agreement, we are honoring our commitment to find the best and most expeditious way for all Rioters, and Riot, to move forward and heal. Over the past year, we've made substantial progress toward evolving our culture and will continue to pursue this work as we strive to be the most inclusive company in gaming."