League of Legends publisher Riot Games has been hit by a lawsuit from one current and one former employee, accusing the company of ‘endemic gender-based discrimination’ as well as fostering a ‘men-first environment.’
The accusations follow on the heels of an extensive report by Kotaku, which shed light on 28 current and former employees who spoke of Riot Games’ ‘bro culture’ that ‘in some instances, rewards behaviour that disadvantages women.’
The lawsuit details, ‘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.’
In addition to the above, it also claims that the company ‘violated California’s Equal Pay Act and law against gender-based discrimination at the workplace,’ with involved parties now seeking ‘compensation on unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties, with an exact amount to be determined at trial.’
Kotaku has reported that there are still a number of ‘key alleged perpetrators of abusive behaviour’ within Riot Games, despite the fact the company has apparently removed a number of those responsible in fostering toxic working conditions.
Melanie McCracken, one of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit and is still at Riot Games, revealed that she spoke about her experiences with the sexist culture, but said ‘HR failed to keep the meeting confidential and leaked the information to her supervisor.’
Meanwhile, the second plaintiff, Jessica Negron, spoke of how one of her supervisors said that ‘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.’