State Regulator says Riot’s $10 million discrimination payout likely isn’t enough, puts number at $400 million

A Feb. 3 hearing will decide.

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Image via Riot Games

A California court is slated to rule on the $10 million settlement between Riot Games and the female employees claiming gender discrimination and sexual harassment. But a state agency thinks the women may deserve far more.

A document filed on Jan. 8 by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) explains that the employees could potentially deserve over $400 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. That sum would include back pay based on wage discrepancies between men and women, while also addressing the seemingly insufficient amount provided for the sexist and harassment terms of the settlement.

Related: Riot: $400 million discrimination payout number “bogus” and not “grounded in fact”

The culture of sexism and “bro culture” at Riot was first unearthed by Kotaku in August 2018. A number of employees came forward, alleging that sexual harassment and discrimination made it difficult for women to climb the corporate ladder at the Los Angeles gaming company.

Despite the DFEH’s claims that Riot’s settlement is unfair, the company defends its efforts and feels that the state agency is “trying to disrupt” the agreement with “inaccuracies and false allegations.”

“We worked hard to negotiate with the lawyer representing the class to reach an agreement that we collectively believe is fair for the class members,” Riot spokesperson Joe Hixson told the LA Times. “We are particularly dismayed that the filing downplays and ignores the efforts we have made with respect to diversity, inclusion, and culture over the past 18 months.”

Since the harassment revelations, Riot announced a “First Steps Forward” initiative that apologized to former and current employees for what transpired. The company has promised to expand its cultural diversity and inclusion while seeking third-party help in the overhaul.

The DFEH isn’t the only state agency countering Riot’s settlement. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DSLE) filed to intervene as well, explaining that the terms of the settlement didn’t address potential labor law violations.

A Jan. 31 hearing will let the court decide if the DSLE can officially intervene and conduct its own litigation against Riot for labor law infractions. A California judge will determine if the two parties will move forward with the $10 million settlement on Feb. 3.