Riot Games Under Investigation by the State of California For Gender Discrimination [Update]

Riot Games Under Investigation by the State of California For Gender Discrimination [Update]

Riot Games has allegedly refused to cooperate with the state over an investigation into gender discrimination.

League of Legends developer Riot Games is in trouble with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing according to an investigation enforcement suit filed against the company. The DFEH is looking into whether the company discriminated against employees based on gender.

According to Kotaku, the DFEH is asking courts to make Riot give employee pay information as part of an "ongoing investigation into alleged gender discrimination." The DFEH is investigating the company for "alleged unequal pay, sexual harassment, sexual assault, retaliation, and gender discrimination in selection and promotion."

The DFEH kicked off the investigation in October 2018 but has said that Riot "refused to provide the Department with adequate information for DFEH to analyze whether women are paid less than men at the company." Riot's refusal has led to the suit by the DFEH to force the company to give up this information.

The allegations against Riot that the DFEH is currently investigating are many of the same problems highlighted by Kotaku's report last year. The company has been accused of passing over women for promotions, paying them less than male counterparts, and fostering a sexist work culture.

Riot employees have been told that there will be changes made to the work culture, but a recent decision to not end forced arbitration clauses in existing employees' contracts resulted in a walkout of over 150 Riot employees. Five Riot employees are currently suing Riot for violating California's Equal Pay Act, and Riot has pursued forced arbitration against two of those five current and former employees.

Update: Riot has given USG a statement claiming the company has been cooperative with the DFEH's investigation, and expressed disappointment to see the Department claim otherwise. You can read the full statement below.

We’ve been in active conversations with the DFEH since its inquiry began. Investigations like this can arise when there have been allegations of workplace disparity and we’ve been cooperating in good faith with the DFEH to address its concerns. During this time, we’ve promptly responded to the DFEH’s requests, and have produced over 2,500 pages of documents and several thousand lines of pay data so far. We’ve also made several recent requests that the DFEH participate in a call with us to address their requests. To date, these requests have been unanswered, so we’re frankly disappointed to see the DFEH issue a press release alleging that we’ve been non-cooperative. We’re confident that we’ve made substantial progress on diversity, inclusion, and company culture, and look forward to continue demonstrating this to the DFEH.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

Riot Games Announces Forge, a Third-Party Arm Focused on Narrative Games

It'll focus on "single-player/story-focused" games in the Runeterra universe.

Riot Games Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $10 Million

The League developer has reached a settlement with its maligned employees.

AOC Reveals Her League of Legends Ranking, Which is Actually Higher Than Rick Fox's

Let's get an exhibition match in Summoner's Rift going.

Four Months Later, Auto Chess' Successors Are Rewriting the Genre

Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords are trying to ensure auto chess isn't a flash in the pan.

League of Legends is Coming to Mobile and Consoles Next Year

League is going mobile over the next year with the slightly different League of Legends: Wild Rift.

Riot Games Tells Players and Commentators to Not Discuss "Sensitive Issues" During World Championship

In the wake of the ongoing Blizzard suspension controversy, Riot wants to preempt political statements on League of Legends streams.

More News

Kairi Joins the Battle in Kingdom Hearts 3's Re Mind DLC, Out Next Month

A leaked trailer shows off new playable characters, additional exploration of Scala ad Caelum, and more.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is "On Hold" at Bethesda

Bethesda's collectible card game is getting put in storage for the foreseeable future.

With Reconstruction Complete, Starbreeze is Pinning Its Future on Payday

After a tough year for the publisher, Payday seems like its best bet.

In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over

Allegations against Dangen Entertainment and its CEO are coming to light after a falling out between the company and some of its dev partners.

More on PC

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is "On Hold" at Bethesda

Bethesda's collectible card game is getting put in storage for the foreseeable future.

With Reconstruction Complete, Starbreeze is Pinning Its Future on Payday

After a tough year for the publisher, Payday seems like its best bet.

The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin

Yacht Club Games concludes their deep dive into Specter of Torment's design!

In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over

Allegations against Dangen Entertainment and its CEO are coming to light after a falling out between the company and some of its dev partners.

Wargroove Developers Respond to Criticisms of Whitewashed Voice Cast

"We want to be honest about what happened."

Disco Elysium: Where to Find Your Clothes and Shoes

We show you where to find all your clothes in the Whirling-in-Rags hostel.

More MOBA Games

Riot Games Announces Forge, a Third-Party Arm Focused on Narrative Games

It'll focus on "single-player/story-focused" games in the Runeterra universe.

Riot Games Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $10 Million

The League developer has reached a settlement with its maligned employees.

Dota 2's Huge New Update Makes It Basically a New Game

The core changes to Dota's formula feel like Dota 3 in disguise.

AOC Reveals Her League of Legends Ranking, Which is Actually Higher Than Rick Fox's

Let's get an exhibition match in Summoner's Rift going.