Two plaintiffs have filed a proposed class action lawsuit over alleged gender discrimination at Riot Games, the company best known for creating “League of Legends.” Filed by one current and one former employee, the complaint claims female workers have been denied equal pay, faced continual harassment, and “found their careers stifled” due to their gender, byproducts of the video game developer’s allegedly toxic “bro culture.”
Describing the work environment at Riot Games as “sexually-hostile,” the lawsuit claims the gaming company, with a staff “of which 80% are male,” has strayed far from its ideals of promoting and advancing those who are bona fide video game fanatics. While being a “core gamer” is an ostensible prerequisite to being an employee at Riot Games, the lawsuit alleges the descriptor masks the defendant’s “policy and practice of preferring men to women in the hiring, promotion, and compensation of its employees.” Pervasive throughout Riot Games, the lawsuit alleges, is a “gaming culture” rife with sexual harassment and misconduct female employees are forced to endure. From the complaint:
“In sum, Riot Games looks for women who are quiet and will—literally and figuratively—‘shut up and play the game.’
If a female gets a job with Riot Games, the discrimination continues through the female employee’s tenure at Riot Games. During meetings and feedback sessions, female employees are constantly talked over by men in meetings. These meetings typically comprise up to half of a typical workday at Riot Games. Ultimately, the discrimination creates a ceiling for its female employees as they are denied higher pay, promotions, and leadership opportunities.”
Being a “core gamer,” the case continues, effectively equates to being a man. Female job applicants and employees who are outspoken, according to the plaintiffs, are considered by Riot Games’ as “aggressive,” “too ambitious,” and “annoying."
Much of the lawsuit springs from reporting fromKotakuand theLos Angeles Times that depicts “the extensive sexual harassment and gender discrimination” culture allegedly cultivated by Riot Games’ leadership. The case charges, however, that although the allegedly discriminatory scene within Riot Games has finally come to light, the company is “simply sweeping these allegations under the rug” with false investigations and counseling. In effect, the suit claims, those within Riot Games responsible for the hostile working conditions described by the plaintiffs are protected from any repercussions.
The full lawsuit, which goes into specific detail on some of the alleged conduct among male employees at Riot Games, can be read below.