Riot Games Seeks To Prevent Lawsuits With Forced Arbitration

Riot Games Seeks To Prevent Lawsuits With Arbitration
Source: Riot Games/League of Legends.

The past few months haven’t been a great one for Riot Games; the League of Legends developer has been the target of a number of gender discrimination lawsuits from fiver current and former employees. Furthermore, a recent report by Kotaku highlighted an extensive ‘bro culture’ at the studio with very little in the way of diversity and inclusivity. This report sparked an extensive amount of criticism for the developer, as well as prompting the lawsuits.

Now, however, Riot Games is looking to preventing two of these lawsuits from proceeding furthere; the developer has argued that two current female employees waived their right to sue the company when they were hired. Because of that, the studio is looking to enter private arbitration. Kotaku got its hands on the legal motions, which suggested that there was an arbitration clause in both of the women’s contracts. Many have argued that these kinds of clauses have been used to silence current and former employees in different industries for several decades.

Because of that, there have been many critics of the clause and it’s easy to see why. Many people see Riot Games’ recent move as a way to silence critics of the company. Furthermore, some have suggested it’s a way for the company to avoid legal repercussions. However, Ryan Saba, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, has said that he plans to fight this clause. Speaking to Kotaku, Mr. Saba noted there’s a precedent for these kind of cases; as such, he’s confident that the case will proceed with a jury trial.

Riot Games’ Commitment To Change

Riot Games Hires Chief Diversity Officer Amidst 'Bro Culture' Scandal
Credit: League of Legends/Riot Games.

In a statement, Ryan Saba criticized how Riot Games have been handling the accusations, noting it was nothing more than talk. As Mr. Saba said:

Today’s actions only serve to silence the voices of individuals who speak out against such misconduct and demonstrate that the company’s words were no more than lip service.”

Furthermore, the League of Legends developer claimed that they were commited to change. The studio also noted that it values everyone who comes forward to improve the company. Over the past few months, the studio has made a number of internal changes. One of the more prominent of these is the hiring of Angela Roseboro as Chief Diversity Officer. Ms. Roseboro formerly worked in Dropbox in a similar role. Outside of this, it’s been noted that very little else has been done at the company.

For example, while Riot Games has apologized for the behaviour, many of the alleged offenders are still working at the company. This includes COO Scott Gelb, who reportedly “ball-tapped,” humped, or farte on employees. As such, many people have claimed that the company is mainly looking to minimize the damage of the fallout. There is currently five lawsuits facing company as a result of gender discrimination.