Over 150 Riot Games employees participated in yesterday afternoon’s walkout to protest the company’s forced arbitration clauses for its sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits. The walkout comes nine months after the original exposé of the “culture of sexism” at Riot Games, the most tangible fallout of which was the two-month suspension of an executive, COO Scott Gelb, who was considered a primary offender.
Despite that action, and the concession that future cases for new employees wouldn’t use private arbitration, the walkout proceeded, with many Rioters, and their supporters, using the hashtag #RiotWalkout on social media.
Riot has assured its employees that they will not face retaliation for their actions, though at least in one case, that wouldn’t matter. According to Kotaku, who had reporters present at the event, one employee said she was “quitting [in two weeks] because I don’t want to see people who were protected by people in high places in Riot,” likely referring to Gelb.
Organizers of the walkout also said that, while they would not be surprised to see some form of retaliation, despite the company’s assurances, they are also not assuming it either. Further action from employees could come by May 16, the date of the next Riot Unplugged meeting, a regular internal meeting with employees at Riot Games, “if Riot management doesn’t make any sort of commitment on forced arbitration,” according to Kotaku.