Riot Games Backpedals Out of Class Action Settlement and Into More Litigation

1/26/2021 — by Chyna Brown for Top Class Actions

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Riot Games has backpedaled out of a gender discrimination class action settlement and into possibly hundreds of arbitration proceedings, in addition to a class action lawsuit.This comes after Riot Games filed a motion to have its female employees settle their pay equity and sexual harassment allegations in individual secret arbitrations, according to Einpresswire.The Los Angeles judge granted the request, ruling that the women who signed Riot Games’ arbitration agreement will likely have to argue their allegations in arbitration, Dot Esports reports. This means that Riot Games has a lot of litigation to look forward to.“Riot is facing enormous liability in the remaining court case and now also has to fight what could possibly be hundreds of individual arbitrations,” The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Genie Harrison, reportedly said. “My firm will immediately start arbitration proceedings on behalf of our clients and will continue prosecuting the equal pay statutory penalty claims as well as the class action.”

Riot Games Flips on Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

In 2019, Riot Games agreed to settle the sexual harassment class action lawsuits with a $10 million agreement. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) had to step in on that measly amount, saying that Riot Games Women deserved compensation closer to $400 million. DFEH’s suggested settlement would include back pay from the discriminatory wage discrepancies. Riot Games called that settlement number “bogus,” Dot Esports reported.

“Among other issues, the DFEH’s compensation analysis is based solely on gender—comparing all men to all women, without regard to key factors such as job title, duties, skills, experience, or education—is a departure from logic and the law,” the company’s Spokesperson told Dot Esports.

A judge was set to make the final say on the proposed $10 million dollar class action settlement on Feb. 3, but this latest legal motion has changed things. Both Riot Games and its female employees would have to accept a private judge’s ruling in arbitration proceedings.

“Now that Riot knows it can’t settle the case on the cheap, it wants to force Riot women into arbitration, preventing the women from fighting together as a group against the company,” the Riot Games Women’s lawyer reportedly said. “If Riot succeeds, it will pay a private judge huge amounts of money to decide the fate of the women’s claims. And all that will happen in secret, with Riot’s discriminatory conduct hidden from the public.”

Though the legal motion got Riot Games out of the previously proposed settlement, it may just result in things coming full circle. One female employee reportedly never signed the arbitration agreement and could represent the gender discrimination class action lawsuit in court.