Riot Games Will Pay $100 Million in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The Run-Down: Massive video game developer, Riot Games, will have to pay $100 million to settle allegations that the company treated women unfairly

  1. Riot Games is alleged to have paid women less than their male counterparts, prevented career growth, and allowed a culture of mistreatment against women
  2. Originally, a $10 million agreement was made, but regulators found that to be too low
  3. $80 million will go directly to women who work, or worked, for the company
  4. The company will also spend $18 million over three years on pay adjustments and funding for workplace diversity programs

Why You Should Care:

The Riot Games lawsuit should be a wake-up call for every organization. This serves as a reminder that toxic workplace behavior is no longer being tolerated. In the case of the video gaming industry, it has been said that the industry is facing its “reckoning” with workplace misconduct. Over the past few years, multiple gaming companies have been met with a similar fate- facing accusations of gender and race-based discrimination. Riot Games claims to have failed to “live up” to their “values”. However, many argue Riot Games’ lack of values is what put them into this situation, to begin with. Whether this is true or not, one thing is clear: organizations must address diversity and inclusion matters head-on, upfront, before such issues even arise. 

Companies must take a proactive approach to address diversity matters. Rather than waiting until a problem surfaces, leaders should be actively transforming the culture of their organization. Based on Riot Games’ conduct, two state agencies found the company should pay up to $400 million for its labor violations. Riot Games was at risk of losing even more than the $100 million they agreed to, based on conflicts that could have been avoided. Investing in re-imagining the workplace environment will create a much lower risk of similar situations occurring for other organizations.

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