Former Employee Sues Riot Games CEO for Sexual Harassment, Discrimination

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The group Riot Workers United, a collective of staff at the moment at Riot Games advocating for change has issued an announcement relating to the information of Sharon O’Donnell’s lawsuit.The group, which helped manage the walkout in 2019, says that “Inappropriate relations combined with the threat of power is a harm inherent to any company where leaders are not held accountable. Historically, Riot is a company where leaders have not been held accountable.”

Read the total assertion under:

Original Story: Former Riot Games govt assistant Sharon O’Donnell has filed swimsuit towards Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent and the corporate at giant, alleging that in her three years on the firm Laurent sexually harassed her, discriminated towards her, and retaliated towards her when she complained about his conduct to HR.Per a lawsuit obtained by Vice, O’Donnell was employed at Riot in October of 2017 as an govt assistant to Laurent. Shortly after she was employed, she says that Laurent started harassing her, and continued to take action till she alleges she was wrongfully terminated in July of 2020.

Specific incidents talked about within the swimsuit embody Laurent calling O’Donnell “beautiful” and telling her his spouse was jealous of lovely ladies, criticizing O’Donnell’s tone by calling it “abusive” and saying she needs to be “more feminine,” yelling at and chatting with O’Donnell in a condescending approach, looking at her whereas describing his underwear and underwear dimension, suggesting ladies workers ought to deal with COVID-19 stress by having youngsters, asking O’Donnell to not let his spouse understand how shut they had been, placing his arm round her, asking her she “could handle him when they were alone at his house,” and telling O’Donnell she ought to “cum” over to his home whereas his spouse was away.In addition, O’Donnell alleges that Laurent each explicitly and implicitly made varied job advantages a situation of her acceptance of sexual conduct. She says that after she refused the provide to go to Laurent’s home, his “hostility and anger increased,” she was subjected to extra yelling, and had varied job duties taken away. She alleges a criticism to HR solely resulted in additional criticism, and he or she was finally let go from the corporate.

O’Donnell can also be suing Riot not solely for failure to forestall harassment but in addition for failure to pay wages in a well timed method, claiming she was not paid for all hours labored together with time beyond regulation. She additionally alleges the corporate failed to supply legally mandated relaxation and meal breaks.

In an announcement shared with IGN, a Riot spokesperson stated the next:

“Over the past several years, workplace culture has been one of our top priorities and we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken to make Riot Games a great place to work. Core to giving Rioters confidence in our commitment to culture transformation is taking all allegations of harassment or discrimination very seriously, thoroughly investigating claims, and taking action against anyone who is found to have violated our policies.

“In this case, as a result of a number of the claims relate to an govt chief, a particular committee of our Board of Directors is overseeing the investigation, which is being performed by an out of doors legislation agency. Our CEO has pledged his full cooperation and assist throughout this course of, and we’re dedicated to making sure that every one claims are completely explored and appropriately resolved.”The spokesperson added that O’Donnell was “dismissed from the corporate over seven months in the past following over a dozen complaints from each workers and exterior companions,” and Riot goes on to say, “Any suggestion in any other case is just false.”

O’Donnell’s lawsuit describes a “male-dominated tradition” at Riot where women are “discriminated towards, harassed, and handled as second class residents,” and specifically references an ongoing series of legal and collective fights against Riot Games’ work culture, which in 2018 numerous sources described as toxic and sexist. Riot has since tried to address the workplace culture issues with various policy changes and the hiring of its first chief diversity officer, but the issues have remained in the spotlight since due to a class-action lawsuit filed by then-current and former employees alleging gender discrimination.

The lawsuit ran into hurdles, with Riot alleging those bringing suit were not legally able to do so due to them having signed forced arbitration clauses in their contracts, which led employees to stage a walkout in 2019 in solidarity with those filing the suits and against such clauses. Riot eventually tried to settle the lawsuit by paying out $10 million in damages, however the settlement was later withdrawn after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Department of Labor Standards & Enforcement (DLSE) deemed the quantity too low.

Then, simply final month, Riot moved to put the lawsuit back into arbitration — ensuing within the DFEH and DLSE issuing a joint statement final week alleging that Riot Games had violated the legislation in discriminating towards ladies workers. The companies declared they might proceed with enforcement motion in courtroom towards the corporate on behalf of all the ladies concerned, together with those that had signed arbitration agreements.

Rebekah Valentine is a information reporter for IGN. You can discover her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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