Over 200 Riot Games employees staged a walkout on Monday 6 May to protest the company’s handling of allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
The walkout, which took place at the company’s Santa Monica development studio, was a specific response to the company’s insistence on forcing two ongoing lawsuits alleging wrongful termination by the company, brought by Chanel Dawnee and Jessica Kent, to go into arbitration. The League of Legends developer is also facing another wrongful termination lawsuit, and a class action.
ESPN quoted Associate Creative Lead Yoko Colby as saying: “Corporations should not force employees into binding arbitration, especially in the face of sexual harassment, assault or discrimination. There’s probably a really bright and really healthy future for Riot. I think that, for the most part, Riot is a wonderful place to work at, and I am grateful for my amazing team and all of my friends here. But — and this is not a surprise to my team, by the way — I am quitting in two weeks. I was failed by the internal investigation process.”
Riot Games has since responded to the walkout in a statement, saying: “Over the last eight months, we’ve been internally focused on listening, learning, and acting as we work to transform our culture and create a more diverse and inclusive Riot. Along the way, we’ve shared some of these efforts with you. You can read more about some of that work here, here, and here. In the spirit of transparency, we also want to address the ongoing public conversations around Riot’s arbitration agreements.”
“As soon as current litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters. We know that this resolution will not satisfy all Rioters. We understand and respect Rioters who choose to protest this decision on Monday, and admire their conviction and willingness to stand up for their beliefs. “
For more Riot Games-related information, visit its website.