Riot Games previously agreed upon a preliminary settlement of $10 million in December in the lawsuit regarding gender discrimination. But now, new legal counsel representing the plaintiffs is looking for even more compensation.
The class-action suit, initially filed by former Riot employees Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron, is now represented by Genie Harrison and Joseph Lovretovich. Harrison is an attorney specializing in sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and employment cases. Lovretovich also specializes in employment and personal injury cases.
“These brave women spoke out against gender inequality and sexism, and I want to make sure they are fairly compensated,” Harrison said. “Our well-qualified statisticians are already analyzing pay data. We intend to recover the compensation due to the women of Riot Games and achieve institutional reform, in order to level the playing field for women.”
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, after the $10 million settlement was revealed, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) stepped in. In a document filed on Jan. 8, the DFEH said that due to the wage differential between men and women at Riot, the women at the company could be entitled to “over $400 million.”
Meanwhile, the DLSE started conducting its own investigation into the company in October 2018. The DLSE found that “no enforceable changes to employment policies, at a company alleged to be rife with sexism, are part of the settlement” and upheld that the $10 million sum wasn’t enough.
“From the beginning, Riot and its counsel have approached these conversations with empathy in order to reach a resolution which we believe is fair for everyone involved,” a Riot spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We support the Plaintiffs’ engagement in this process and their right to seek different legal counsel. We are aware that Plaintiffs’ new counsel withdrew the pending Motion for Preliminary Approval, which will give them adequate time to review the proposed settlement agreement. We also filed a joint statement with their new counsel noting that we remain committed to working towards a fair resolution for everyone involved.”
This lawsuit is the culmination of a series of exposés on Riot since 2018. It began with Cecilia D’Anastasio’s article on Kotaku that detailed the developer’s systemic and toxic “bro culture” permeating the company that resulted in discrimination against women.