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Riot Games Terminated Employee Who Filed Harassment Allegations against CEO

Abhimannu Das
11/Feb/2021 07:36 am

An employee filed a complaint against current Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent for sexual advances and discrimination.
The employee was fired over seven months ago by riot and she claims that it was due to her complaint against the CEO.
Riot has stated that she was fired due to complaints from employees and external partners.

Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent is currently under investigation due to sexual harassment and gender discrimination allegations. A lawsuit was filed against the CEO, which led to the investigation. The Valorant developer revealed that it is taking the necessary steps to identify if any policies were violated. Esports consultant Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau was told that Riot Games fired the employee over seven months ago following complaints from other employees and external partners. Investigations against the CEO are currently ongoing, and Riot Games will take necessary action once the investigation is complete. None of the accusations by the plaintiff have been proven so far. 

Why Was the Employee Terminated?

Former executive assistant Sharon O’Donnell filed the lawsuit after being “wrongfully terminated” in July 2020. O’Donnell claims the Riot Games CEO made sexual advances towards her, and soon after she filed a complaint, she was removed from her position in July 2020. Riot has addressed the plaintiff’s claim about their separation from Riot, stating that the plaintiff was dismissed from the company over seven months ago following more than a dozen complaints from both employees and external partners. After discussion, it decided to fire the former executive assistant. Riot states that “any suggestion otherwise is simply false”.

Is Any Action Being Taken Against the Riot Games CEO? 

With none of the claims by the former employee being substantiated yet, no action has been taken against the CEO. A special committee consisting of the Valorant studio’s board of directors will oversee the investigation that a third-party firm is conducting. Riot told The Verge that it 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.”

Allegations Made by The Former Employee

The former Riot Games employee claims that her termination was directly related to her refusal of the CEO’s sexual advances. She also claimed that the CEO told female employees at the workplace, “the best way to handle COVID-19-related stress was to have kids.”

Riot recently told Slasher that the workplace culture had been one of the company’s top priorities. The company stated that they take all allegations of discrimination or harassment very seriously, and if any policies have been violated, necessary action will be taken. The legal lawsuit and the investigation are both underway, and we will have to wait and see to know the outcome of the current situation. 

RELATED:  Riot Games Officially Shares Details on Xhade’s Recent Ban

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Abhimannu Das is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He is covering content on esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more. He also writes opinion pieces, cover stories and conducts interviews with esports professionals.