Riot Games announced yesterday to have reached a settlement agreement with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and multiple private plaintiffs regarding the gender discrimination class action that originated back in 2018.
Under the terms of the agreement (whose final approval by the court is pending), Riot Games will pay $80 million to the class. This includes all current and former full-time employees and temporary agency contractors in California who identify as women and worked anytime from November 2014 to the present day. Riot will also take care of another $20 million in attorney fees and other miscellaneous expenses, bringing the total costs to $100 million. Additionally, the game developer has agreed to have its internal reporting and pay equity processes monitored for three years by a third party which will be jointly selected by Riot and the DFEH.
As you might recall, Riot had already settled with the plaintiffs over two years ago for a total of $10 million. Shortly after that, though, the DFEH objected to the settlement, arguing that the injured parties could be entitled to over $400 million. This new settlement seems to be a middle ground between the two propositions.
Riot Games also shared a statement to go with the news.
Three years ago, Riot was at the heart of what became a reckoning in our industry. We had to face the fact that despite our best intentions, we hadn’t always lived up to our values. As a company we stood at a crossroads; we could deny the shortcomings of our culture, or we could apologize, correct course, and build a better Riot. We chose the latter. We’re incredibly grateful to every Rioter who has worked to create a culture where inclusivity is the norm, where we’re deeply committed to fairness and equality, and where embracing diversity fuels creativity and innovation.
While we’re proud of how far we’ve come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past. We hope that this settlement properly acknowledges those who had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrates our desire to lead by example in bringing more accountability and equality to the games industry.