Riot Games Gets Green Light to Discuss Gender Discrimination Settlement

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Women sue Riot Games Inc., a unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd., for harassment and wage discrimination was given the green light on Friday to schedule settlement talks with the game creator in a Los Angeles court.

The women filed complaints against Riot in 2018, alleging that the company denied them equal pay and promotions, and subjected them to sexual harassment.

A proposed settlement in 2019 has been taken off the table. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which intervened in the lawsuit following its own investigation into Riot Games, said the proposed deal would have underpaid female employees.

The agency then accused Riot of using secret settlements with some members of the group to prevent employees from speaking with state regulators, and said the creator of League of Legends had delayed the transmission of data from employees.

DFEH filed an emergency order in Los Angeles Superior Court in early September, seeking to block any settlement conference, request for settlement approval, or dismissal of the case until certain “jurisdictional issues and discoveries are resolved ”.

According to lawyers for the group, the state’s attempt to remove one of the plaintiffs from the litigation and block settlement talks is part of a larger effort to take control of the outcome of the lawsuit.

Judge Elihu M. Berle granted the request to schedule a mandatory settlement conference, ordering Riot and the women to schedule interviews before Judge Daniel Buckley in Los Angeles.

“Common sense, decency and professionalism always count,” said Genie Harrison, who represents women, in reference to the order. “We look forward to complying with the court order and bringing justice to the women of Riot Games.”

Riot declined to comment on the order. DFEH did not immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment on Friday evening.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP represents Riot. The law firm Genie Harrison APC and JML Law APLC represent women.

The case is McCracken v. Riot Games, Cal. Great. Ct., No. 18STCV03957, 10/01/21.


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