Riot Games employees are preparing for a walkout today in protest of the company's stance on forced arbitration. The developer of League of Legends has been been hit by multiple lawsuits over the past year alleging that the company violated the California Equal Pay Act, among other allegations of very troubling behavior. The internal disputes between the company and its employees appear to be boiling over today as many employees will walk out of their place of work in protest of management.
Five former and current Riot Games employees have filed lawsuits against Riot Games in the last year, and the company filed a motion in April to block two of those lawsuits. Riot's lawyers claim that the employees signed arbitration agreements which waived their rights to a trial by jury against the company. It appears that this was the final straw for a number of employees who had hoped their coworkers would have their days in court.
The original lawsuits against Riot Games highlighted a toxic bro culture that allegedly goes all the way to the top of management. Kotaku filed a very in-depth report last year that unearthed many stories of disgusting behavior at the company. “The ‘bro culture’ there is so real,” said a former female employee. “It’s agonizingly real. It’s like working at a giant fraternity.” There are reports of internal email lists in which management ranked female employees by attractiveness and there appears to be a history of women being looked over for promotions.
There are a lot of ways to look at this from the outside, but we have put together some tweets from Riot Games employees explaining why they are walking out today:
Today is the #RiotWalkout. Time to show leadership we are serious. Sexual harassment and protecting abusers will not be tolerated. We deserve to work at a place where we feel safe and welcomed.— Riot LadyGnar | Kiley (@MissyKiley) May 6, 2019
i will be speaking at the #RiotWalkout today to share messages of support from players and workers from other companies. I am so proud to be at Riot and things are getting better, but we have a long way to go to make it truly inclusice. Let’s make Riot a dream job for ANYONE pic.twitter.com/bWCflsqMJb— im jocelyn (@guldeuxchats) May 6, 2019
I am participating in the #riotwalkout today. It should not be legal to force workers into arbitration when they suffer sexual harassment-- or any other discrimination, really. It's already not legal in several states. I'd like my company to be on the cutting edge of this issue!!— Laura Michet (@lmichet) May 6, 2019
We will be watching for more news around the Riot Games walkout today, as it is reportedly going to be the largest walkout in game studio history. We applaud the employees for standing up for their rights, and will be sure to update our readers as news continues to break from this developing story.
Asif Khan posted a new article, Riot Games employees plan for walkout today
They're walking out? I'm surprised they're not rioting.
This is a real uphill battle for these employees, but if Riot's leadership means what they say about their commitments to fair labor practices, they have the power to make this very straightforward for everybody.
I had no idea how insidious and commonplace forced arbitration has become. It's practically de rigueur
I found it interesting that CFO that was going around ball tapping and sexully harassing people got senthome for 2 months but is now back at work. They never fired him! I'm sure 60days chilling at his mansion home cured him of doing stuff like smacking people genitals at work. Fuck that company
Tell me when you’ve ever seen a front line employee get that kind of treatment? But if it’s an executive then they get to sit at home for 60 days getting paid while they think about what they’ve done? Ha! Such a terrible punishment.
Game employees are getting close to realizing they have the power and can unionize. They all walk out during a crunch and riot is super fucked.