Riot Games Responds to "Reckless" $400 Million Figure Regarding Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Riot Games responded this week to an ongoing legal matter regarding the gender discrimination lawsuit settlement the company reached late last year. After reaching an agreement to pay out $10 million to employees involved in the class action lawsuit amid allegations of gender discrimination and wage discrepancies, two California agencies weighed in on the matter. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing suggested Riot could owe female employees over $400 million in back pay, an estimate which Riot said is “reckless” and “misleading.”

News of the claim from the DFEH coupled with opinions from the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement broke this week when the lofty $400 million was floated by the former. Riot spokesperson Joe Hixson said at the time that the legal filing from the DFEH was “filled with inaccuracies and false allegations” and that Riot would be addressing the two organizations’ arguments with their own legal filings.

Legal documents provided to by Riot elaborated on the company’s stance towards the DFEH’s $400 million estimate.

“The DFEH’s claim that the ‘maximum exposure in back pay owed to female employees alone exceeds $400 million’ is outrageous, reckless, and without any basis in fact or law,” Riot’s legal response to the DFEH read. “Indeed, there are numerous methodological deficiencies in how the DFEH reaches this number, each of which makes the ultimate conclusion wholly unsound.”

The documents went on to dissect the DFEH's argument by citing examples of what it called “a flawed approach to data that is grossly distorted and misleading.” It went on to suggest the DFEH’s $400 million estimate is therefore an “outlandish figure,” one that was created with the intent to “garner sensational headlines and pressure Riot in the public.”

In a statement outside of the legal documents which was shared with, Riot lambasted the DFEH’s $400 million figure and called it “clickbait.” Riot added that Rosen Saba, the council representing the plaintiffs in the legal matter, had filed similar objections to both the DFEH and the DLSE.


Riot’s legal document that included its response to the DFEH concluded by saying the $10 million settlement originally proposed and agreed upon is both fair and reasonable and that the court should disregard the DFEH’s objection.

“The proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and stands to provide significant relief to the putative class,” Riot’s document concluded.” The DFEH’s Objection—which is wrought with misinformation and misdirection—seeks only to stand in the way of such relief. The Court should disregard the DFEH’s Objection and preliminarily approve the settlement.”

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