Riot’s Sexual Assault Case Gains Steam As Plaintiffs Hire Counsel That Led To Harvey Weinstein Being Jailed
April 4, 2020 — by Chris Miller for Happy Gamer
Below is an excerpt from the story:
While everyone is busy celebrating Riot’s bizarre tactic of Valorantbeing streamed and watched by almost a million viewers all desperate to be included in the beta, the company itself looks to be on the back foot in regards to the sexual assault and harassment case being pursued against them. It’s a case that has been ongoing for well over a year, with no resolution in sight as Riot continues to attempt to settle with the plaintiffs out of court.
For context, Riot allegedly had a bit of a problem with women on their workforce in regard to treating them like humans. While paying them less than their male counter-parts is one aspect of the case, it gets a bit more sinister rather than stopping there. Female employees were ranked by a ‘hot girl list’ by the male employees which the COO, Scott Gelb, participated in. The misconduct furthered, with women being shown pictures of male genitalia by other employees, allegations of ‘phantom humping’, and crotch-grabbing all allegedly took place in the Chinese owned company based in Los Angeles.
Scott Gelb received a two-month suspension for ‘misconduct’ and is back to working at Riot Games.
Riot attempted to settle the case to the tune of $10 million dollars being paid out to women that were in Riot’s active workforce for the past five years, yet two California agencies stepped in to stop that settlement, believing the women who worked there and thus allegedly subjected to sexual assault and harassment, deserved far more. The two primary plaintiffs that came forward to shine a light on the abuse, Jessica Negron and Melanie McCracken, were to receive $10,000 each from the settlement; the most of any of the women. The two agencies that opposed Riot’s attempted settlement were the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Department of Labor Standards & Enforcement.
Take a picture, everyone, government agencies are doing what they’re supposed to do.
Both departments have come together and stated that, upon analyzing the egregious pay gap between male and female employees, the settlement should be far higher – to the tune of $400 million total being dispersed to employees. The case is now being led by new counsel for the plaintiffs, Genie Harrison and Joseph Lovretovich, which may give Riot a moment of pause; Genie Harrison had a direct hand in both protecting and seeking justice for the women that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted, which led to him being imprisoned. The change of counsel was announced on February 21st, after the February 1st hearing.
There have currently been no public announcements that the plaintiffs are seeking criminal charges against the employees at Riot Games that took part in the sexual harassment and assault.
Riot reacted quickly when these allegations surfaced against them in two ways; first, they forced all of their employees to sign a forced arbitration clause, which generally stated that employees at Riot cannot seek help from the justice system if misconduct at Riot continues; instead, they are to participate in company-led arbitration. This caused many employees to walk out in protest, inspired by workers from Google walking out when confronted with similar arbitration agreements. Riot then backed down ever-so-slightly, announcing that new employees are allowed to seek assistance from the justice system in the event of sexual assault and harassment.
Secondly, Riot Games hired their first-ever Chief Diversity Officer Angela Roseboro in light of the scandal. Roseboro was previously employed at Dropbox, and has her work cut out for her in the allegedly toxic environment at Riot Games.
Riot Games didn’t take the $400 million figure entirely too well, claiming that the figure wasn’t realistic and was more ‘clickbait’ than anything. Riot Games added that they ‘will defend ourselves against false narratives and unfair claims that do nothing to remedy any hardships of actual class members.’