The class-action lawsuit leveled against Riot Games for alleged discrimination and sexual harassment has reached a preliminary settlement. After what appears to be an internal company review, Riot determined that such concerns were "not systemic issues," but still eventually reached "an agreement in principle" to settle the lawsuit.
Riot Games first found itself in hot water following a December 2018 report detailing how studio COO Scott Gelb was suspended for unprofessional behavior, specifically physical harassment that involved groping employees in what was called a "comedy bit." Following Gelb's suspension, more statements indicating alleged acts of sexual and discrimination soon began to appear, in addition to accusations that the company was in violation of California's Equal Pay Act.
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
In May, Riot Games employees staged a walkout, demanding change to the company's arbitration system, but Riot refused, at least for the time being.
By June, Riot Games had come under state investigation for gender discrimination. The California Department of Fair Employment Housing requested a court order requiring the studio to relinquish employee compensation details as part of the investigation, which was looking into "alleged unequal pay, sexual harassment, sexual assault, retaliation, and gender discrimination in selection and promotion" of studio employees.
As of today, Riot representatives took to the Riot Games website to announce that they've "come to an agreement in principle to settle the class action lawsuit against Riot." According to a joint press release from Riot and the plaintiff's counsel, both parties are ready to seek court approval for the settlement proposal.
"We are grateful for every Rioter who has come forward with their concerns and believe this resolution is fair for everyone involved," said Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent. "With this agreement, we are honoring our commitment to find the best and most expeditious way for all Rioters, and Riot, to move forward and heal. Over the past year, we've made substantial progress toward evolving our culture and will continue to pursue this work as we strive to be the most inclusive company in gaming."