Riot Games DFEH lawsuit

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Women Suing Riot Games Claim DFEH Intervention in Lawsuit

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
Riot Games employees who filed a lawsuit against the publisher have accused California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) of intervening in the lawsuit.
The employees claim that the DFEH seeks to gain control of the outcome of the lawsuit.
DFEH reportedly filed an emergency order with the Los Angeles Superior Court on 10th Sept that blocks settlements between Riot Games and the plaintiffs.

Women who filed a suit against Riot Games for alleged harassment and discrimination at the workplace have accused California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) of intervening in the lawsuit. Plaintiffs from the lawsuit have stated that the DFEH moved to remove one of the women from the action by questioning her standing. The complaints claim that the DFEH seeks to gain control over the outcome of the class action lawsuit. The DFEH had conducted an investigation into Riot Games in 2018 and stepped in to block a class settlement with victims in 2019 according to the complaint.

The DFEH filed an emergency order to block settlement conferences on 10th September

According to a report by Bloomberg Law, “DFEH filed an emergency order with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Sept. 10, seeking to block any settlement conferences, requests for settlement approval, or dismissal of the case.” The filing is a part of a lawsuit that involves Riot Games, female video game industry workers who alleged harassment and discrimination at the company, and the DFEH.

Some of the plaintiffs involved in the case stated that “if that day comes, DFEH can file all the objections it wants, and this court will be the arbiter of whether any such settlement is fair and reasonable. But until then, DFEH should not be permitted to interfere with the putative class action, particularly through frivolous ex parte motions.”

The recent filing also accuses the DFEH of trying to “dissuade the women working at Activision Blizzard from speaking with private counsel.” This is in relation to a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the DFEH which claims the publisher is discriminating against its female employees at virtually all levels of employment, including on compensation, promotion, assignments, and termination.

The DFEH has alleged that Riot Games has produced “selective and incomplete” evidence

The DFEH had filed an order of its own, which compels Riot Games to provide all employment data which includes compensation history, gender, race, education, and dates of employment, among other information. The agency claims that Riot Games has provided only “selective and incomplete” documentation. The agency had previously claimed that Riot Games has delayed handing over copies of settlement agreements it signed with over 100 class members along with their contact details.

Riot Games had previously accused the DFEH of disrupting agreements between its employees and the publisher. Riot Games spokesperson told LA Times “We worked hard to negotiate with the lawyer representing the class to reach an agreement that we collectively believe is fair for the class members. Now DFEH is trying to disrupt that agreement in a legal filing that is filled with inaccuracies and false allegations.”

The DFEH is yet to respond to the allegations made by the plaintiffs involved in the ongoing legal dispute.

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.