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Riot Games hit with gender discrimination suit by current and former employees

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Nov 7, 2018, 6:21 PM EST (Updated)

UPDATE: This story has been updated with Riot Games' response for comment. 

One current and one former employee of Riot Games have brought a class action lawsuit against the company. 

The publisher behind League of Legends and other games is being accused of gender discrimination and cultivating a "men-first" work environment, according to Kotaku. Additional allegations include a violation of both California’s Equal Pay Act and a law that prevents gender-based discrimination at the workplace.

"Like many of Riot Games’ female employees, Plaintiffs have been denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they are women. Moreover, Plaintiffs have also seen their working conditions negatively impacted because of the ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct, and bias which predominate the sexually-hostile working environment of Riot Games," the allegations read. 

The plaintiffs are seeking unpaid wages, damages, and other penalties — with amounts to be determined at trial. 

This lawsuit comes months after Kotaku conducted an in-depth investigation into Riot Games' work culture, where out of the 28 current and former employees interviewed, most agreed it was a sexist workplace. Jessica Negron, a former employee who is also one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, was also a source for the story. 

The investigation prompted an apology from Riot Games on Twitter last August. It read, in part, that the company intended to "share the immediate and long-term actions we’re taking to enact real change for women at Riot." Subsequently, some — but not all — of those committing the alleged behavior were let go from the company. 

The other plaintiff, Melanie McCracken, who has worked at Riot Games since 2013, says she's endured "discrimination based on her sex/gender." She also cites numerous instances where she was denied proper pay or promotions for her work. 

In a comment to SYFY WIRE, Riot Games has given the following response: 

"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. We’ve shared our progress here."