During the wake of the so-called “Third Wave Feminist Movement”, there had been a whole lot of tensions and dramas in Hollywood with some women filing for legal battles against men. The same is the case with the League of Legends creator Riot Games after one of it’s employee and a former employee filed a legal suite against the company citing gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal pay.
While there had earlier been accusations from dozens of employees about employee treatments from the League of Legends creator, the entire reports dates longer than this week. In a statement sent to The Verge, Riot Games stated that “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. We remain committed to a deep and comprehensive evolution of our culture to ensure Riot is a place where all Rioters thrive.” The company therefore provided a link to its progress timeline.
There were other details of sexist and unfair hiring practices where the company is said to favor men over women and also that men’s voices are louder and more heard in meetings than women and also sexual harassment and misconduct claims.
One instance in the lawsuit stated a situation that “a female employee discovered an email chain discussing what it would be like to ‘penetrate her,’ in which a colleague added that she would be a good target to sleep with and not call again.”
An instance of unequal pay as the accusation had stated is the case of one McCracken who is currently employed by the company and had been working since 2013 while an other employee Jessica Negron who had worked at Riot Games between 2015 to 2017 are said to not be equally paid; whereby the both plaintiffs were “denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they are women.”
At Riot, the lawsuit alleges, its staff are known as “Rioters” who are supposed to be “core gamers” and the term “has a more nefarious meaning to its female employees. Specifically, the term ‘core gamer’ is an unwritten policy and practice of preferring men to women in the hiring, promotion, and compensation of its employees.”
While there had been some controversies in the past as in the case of former employee who was allegedly forced to leave his job because he referred to one of the company’s top officer Co-Founder Brandon Beck’s phrase “No doesn’t necessarily mean no” s being a rape joke. All these were also stated in the lawsuit. “Negrón did the work of her former manager for less than a third of the pay, the lawsuit alleges”
Negrón, in particular, spoke up on Twitter in the days after the Kotaku piece, detailing her work toward gaining a promotion and how she had been doing the job of her former manager for less pay and without the title. The lawsuit alleges Negrón began working at Riot for $56,000 a year and had been doing the work of her former manager for nearly a year, a position that earned her old manager $160,000 a year. The job of content editor eventually went to Dillon Buckner, and Negrón was never interviewed for the position, according to the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, there were details about uncomfortable situations McCracken found herself in such as the company’s hiring policy whereby men are only promoted and women are to be assistants and also that male co-workers always joke around accusing her of spreading photos of them at a strip club even though she claimed to have never done such.
McCracken also allege that she was removed from a decision making position because of her products and then she’s been prevented from attending senior leadership meetings.“Despite Ms. McCracken’s hard work to achieve her promotion, it has been put on hold and her future with Riot Games is dire, at best,” the lawsuit states, “Ms. McCracken remains employed at Riot Games at the time of the filing of this lawsuit because she wants to see change be made to the unacceptable ‘bro culture’ at Riot Games.”
Both plaintiffs are suing for compensation and interest on unpaid wages and damages. The specific amount will be decided by trial in California.