Riot Games Is Being Sued for Gender Discrimination

The Studio’s Workplace Culture Has Come Under Much Scrutiny

Riot Games is being sued in a class action lawsuit filed on Monday for alleged gender discrimination and, among other complaints, for allegedly violating California’s Equal Pay Act. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are a current Riot Games employee named Melanie McCracken and a former employee named Jessica Negron.

Riot Games

McCracken has been employed by the developer for five years (according to her LinkedIn webpage) while Negron is a former employee who worked for the company from April 2015 to April 2017.

The two plaintiffs are demanding “monetary damages” and a change to the workplace culture of Riot Games. They’re also demanding a jury trial for their lawsuit.

The suit alleges that they & other female Riot Games employees have been “denied equal pay and had their careers stifled because they are women.” It also alleges that the pair “have also seen their working conditions negatively impacted because of the ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias which predominate the sexually-hostile working environment of Riot Games.”

The developer has a “bro culture” which fosters “a culture of sexism and mistreatment towards women”, according to the lawsuit. Alleged examples of this include female employees being insulted with sexist comments, being shown unsolicited pictures of penises, and being objectified in an email chain titled “Riot Games Hottest Women Employees”.

Riot Games

In response to this lawsuit, a Riot Games spokesperson said that the company investigates allegations of sexual misconduct “thoroughly”.

“While we do not discuss the details of ongoing litigation, we can say that we take every allegation of this nature seriously and investigate them thoroughly,” the spokesperson reportedly said. “We remain committed to a deep and comprehensive evolution of our culture to ensure Riot is a place where all Rioters thrive. We’ve shared our progress here.”

Earlier this year, two other Riot Games employees left the studio after publicly defending a controversial PAX West event and the allegedly sexist culture of the company was reported on by Kotaku.

Sources: Lawsuit documents, VentureBeat