Riot Games sued by current and former employees for Gender Discrimination

This lawsuit comes months after a Kotaku report about the questionable company culture at Riot Games.

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Fresh off of the League of Legends 2018 World Championship, Riot Games finds their company's culture under the microscope as they have been sued for Gender Discrimination by one former and one current employee. The two female employees have filed a class action lawsuit against Riot Games accusing it of an overtly toxic "men-first" work environment riddled with gender-based discrimination. 

The current Riot Games employee, Plaintiff Melanie McCracken, started working at the company in October of 2013. Plaintiff Jessica Negron was employed by Riot Games from April of 2015 until April of last year. The class action lawsuit alleges that, “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." 

Read the enitre Riot Games' Complaint on Scribd.

Riot Games came under fire in August when Kotaku released an investigative report on the "bro culture" that female employees described at the company. The League of Legends developer issued a statement about changing their culture shortly after that report. In September, Riot Games still employed several of the people accused of abusive behavior. This includes COO Scott Gelb. 

Negron disclosed in the lawsuit that her manager was fired shortly after she began working at Riot Games and she assumed her duties without any increased compensation or change in title. She also claims that a Riot Games supervisor told her 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.”

McCracken is still working at Riot Games today and claims to have observed "discrimination based on her sex/gender" over her 5 years at the company. The lawsuit says that her initial supervisor “did not hire females to fill vacancies in senior employment positions.” 

Both plaintiffs paint a dark picture of the current and former work culture at Riot Games. This class action lawsuit also highlights the glaring income inequality between men and women in the video game industry as well as across all lines of work. The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the Superior Court of the State of California in Los Angeles. This certainly casts a different light on this weekend's unveiling of the K/DA all-girl K-pop group at LoL 2018 worlds.

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Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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