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Riot settling gender discrimination lawsuit for $10 million USD

Over 1,000 women will be entitled to receive some of the money, and Riot has laid out several commitments to the future too.

Earlier in the year Riot Games came under fire for reportedly forcing women into forced arbitration regarding lawsuits of sexual discrimination, meaning the matters would have to be settled privately rather than with legal action, leading to employees staging a walkout in protest at the decision.

Later in the year the State of California started investigating Riot over gender discrimination as well, but as reported by the LA Times, Riot is paying $10 million USD to settle the lawsuit.

This will be going to women who've worked at the company over the last five years, including over 1,000 women between November 2014 and the date the settlement is finalised, all of which are entitled to some of the money. This includes those who self-identify as female, and the payout will depend on how long they've worked there, with employees getting more than contractors.

"We're pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry's best talent," a spokesperson said.

The filing also includes commitments to the future, like improving internal systems for sexual harassment and discrimination reporting. This includes reviewing all pay, hiring, and promotion systems, recruiting a chief diversity officer, and creating employee groups to check how this is all being handled.

This has yet to be approved by the court, and one current employee told Kotaku that there are still reservations about the company.

"It's great that Riot has decided to compensate women for the abuse they suffered here, but their rhetoric about 'healing and moving on' leaves something to be desired," she said. "It's difficult to heal and move on when we are faced with the reality that at the end of the day, Riot prefers to pay the women still here for the trouble of continuing to work with alleged abusers."

The plaintiff's lawyer Ryan Saba, however, said that "this shows that Riot is serious about changing the culture at the company."

Is this an appropriate response by Riot?

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