The video game company Riot Games has jumped out of the legal frying pan and into the fire as they backed out of the settlement in the gender discrimination class-action lawsuit against them. They prefer the possibility of hundreds of individual arbitration hearings and an additional class-action lawsuit.
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Earlier this year, Riot Games filed a motion to have its female employees settle their pay equity and sexual harassment allegations in individual secret arbitrations.
The request, granted by a Los Angeles judge, opens Riot Games to additional stacks of litigation as the women who signed arbitration agreements could be forced to individually argue each case in arbitration. This does not stop the equal pay statutory penalty claims and the class action lawsuit from trudging on in the courts.
Riot Games agreed to settle the sexual harassment class action lawsuit with a $10 million settlement in 2019. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) intervened, stating the plaintiffs deserved compensation closer to $400 million, which includes back pay from discriminatory wage discrepancies.
Individual arbitration would separate the women’s claims. These proceedings will happen in secret, before a private judge, shrouding Riot Games’ discriminatory conduct from the public.
However, one female employee never signed an arbitration agreement, leaving her able to continue representing the gender discrimination class action lawsuit in court.
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