Earlier this month, around 200 Riot Games employees walked out of the company’s LA office to stage a protest against upper management. At the time, heads at Riot allowed the walk out to go ahead and promised that there would be no backlash against employees for participating, Now, Riot has outlined what it plans to do and just as importantly, what it won’t be doing, following the walk out.
Over the last year, there has been a lot of talk surrounding Riot Games and its internal practices. Allegations of sexism arrived in 2018, which was followed by Riot attempting fix the situation by hiring a Chief Diversity Officer and outlining a new set of company values. Nevertheless, five former employees have filed lawsuits against Riot Games citing a breach in the California Equal Pay Act and poor treatment at the company.
Riot Games moved to block a couple of these lawsuits, citing an arbitration clause in employee contracts that waives their right to sue. This caused frustration amongst those still working at the company, which led to the protest earlier this month.
Now, Riot Games has had its latest company-wide meeting to address the concerns employees have brought forward. Riot Games has promised to drop its arbitration clause for future employees after the current on-going lawsuits are settled. Workers at Riot wanted this clause dropped for everyone, but Riot is remaining firm on keeping it in place for all current employees.
While Riot won’t be budging on that particular demand, the company did say that the walk out was an “important moment” in its history. At minimum, new employees will have the option to opt out of arbitration. Beyond that, Riot says that it will be putting together an internal council that will connect employees with the diversity team working to improve the studio culture.
KitGuru Says: We don’t know how Riot employees feel about the company’s response to the walk out yet, but hopefully will hear something on that soon. From the outside, it looks like a mixed bag, with the promise to do better in the future, but without making things right for those who already feel wronged.