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Riot Games’ $10 million lawsuit settlement blocked as officials say studio should pay more

Over the course of 2019, there was plenty of discussion surrounding Riot Games and its internal practices. There have been lawsuits alleging discrimination and sexism, which Riot is attempting to settle with a $10 million payout. The settlement agreement was announced in December but is now being blocked, with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing saying that Riot should be paying a lot more. 

This whole situation became public back in October 2018, shortly after discrimination complaints first began popping up online. Eventually, employees staged a walkout protest at Riot’s LA offices and an investigation into the company was launched by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Riot Games announced that it had agreed to pay a $10 million settlement last month and just needed a judge to finalise it. Individual payouts would differ depending on length of employment and full-time/contractor status, with around 1,000 workers expected to receive a portion of the money.

Now according to a report from The Los Angeles Times, the California department responsible for enforcing fair employment rules is objecting to the settlement offer, preventing its approval. According to them, Riot could actually owe as much as $400 million in back pay. They also aren’t happy that the settlement doesn’t include any “enforceable changes” to Riot’s policies.

Riot Games obviously disagrees with the $400 million number, labelling it as “absurd” in a statement sent to Business Insider. A Riot spokesperson has also confirmed that the company plans to file a legal rebuttal soon.

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KitGuru Says: For a company as large as Riot, a $10 million payout does seem small, although the plaintiffs in the case did ultimately agree. With DFEH stepping back in, this case could end up taking longer to settle and Riot could end up having to increase its settlement offer. 

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