Riot Games under state investigation for gender discrimination

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is looking into gender discrimination allegations over at League of Legends developer Riot Games.

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It's been a rocky year for Riot Games, the studio perhaps best known as the developer behind League of Legends. Following initial reports of gender discrimination allegations back in 2018, the studio is now the target of an investigation enforcement suit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

According to a report from Kotaku, the department is asking courts to force Riot Games to pony up details over employee compensation as part of "an ongoing investigation" into allegations of gender discrimination. In particular, the DFEH seeks more information concerning "alleged unequal pay, sexual harassment, sexual assault, retaliation, and gender discrimination in selection and promotion" of studio employees.

For those who may not have been following the story closely, the investigation into these claims against Riot Games hit a peak around August of last year following a report from Kotaku's Cecilia D'Anatasio. However, the California DFEH hit a road block when Riot Games allegedly refused to offer any details regarding employee compensation, specifically with regard to the women on staff.

This enforcement suit seeks to finally force Riot Games to offer the details needed to continue the gender discrimination investigation. The DFEH alleges that Riot has "refused to provide the Department with adequate information for DFEG to analyze whether women are paid less than the men at the company." It also states that Riot is witholding "basic employment data that [...] laws require employers to maintain."

Following the latest report, Riot Games offered the following response to Kotaku:

"We’ve been in active conversations with the DFEH since its inquiry began. Investigations like this can arise when there have been allegations of workplace disparity and we’ve been cooperating in good faith with the DFEH to address its concerns. During this time, we’ve promptly responded to the DFEH’s requests, and have produced over 2,500 pages of documents and several thousand lines of pay data so far. We’ve also made several recent requests that the DFEH participate in a call with us to address their requests. To date, these requests have been unanswered, so we’re frankly disappointed to see the DFEH issue a press release alleging that we’ve been non-cooperative. We’re confident that we’ve made substantial progress on diversity, inclusion, and company culture, and look forward to continue demonstrating this to the DFEH."

Keep it tuned here to Shacknews for more details about the Riot Games gender discrimination story as it develops.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at kevin.tucker@shacknews.com.

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  • reply
    June 14, 2019 12:45 PM

    Kevin Tucker posted a new article, Riot Games under state investigation for gender discrimination

    • reply
      June 14, 2019 12:51 PM

      Egads, Riot. What the hell. Should admit you have a problem, rectify it, and move on...

      After all of these conversations over the past year, you're gonna try and hide this!?

      Mein gott!

      • reply
        June 14, 2019 12:59 PM

        The investigation into Riot started about a month after the Kotaku report, the issue now is that the state is claiming Riot is not turning over ALL the documentation they need. Riot's said they provided everything asked for, so I don't think Riot is purposely hiding something. This type of compelled document discovery is always part of such cases, as one side may through doubt what is required documents compared to the other side.

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          June 14, 2019 2:57 PM

          Riot has been known garbage so it’s nit surprising at all.

          • reply
            June 14, 2019 3:01 PM

            Oh, definitely not saying Riot's all clean on this, just that this is a common issue in these types of investigations.

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      June 14, 2019 3:01 PM

      I'm still shocked they employ that many people over a single game. I can't even imagine how bad the bro culture is there, though.

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        June 14, 2019 4:49 PM

        It's the industries worst kept secret that they have been trying to launch multiple games for quite some time now.

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        June 14, 2019 5:10 PM

        It's kind of bizarro considering the effort they put into trying to find solutions to minimize the shitfest culture that multiplayer gaming inherently brings into a co-op competitive environment creates within the public horde.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY6GYWhuS0I

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      June 14, 2019 5:15 PM

      Didn’t like all of the trans employees walk out on CDPR recently too ?

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