Riot Employees Reportedly Threatening Walkout (UPDATED With Riot's Response)
UPDATE: Within a few hours of publication, Riot Games did respond to our request for a comment.
Regarding General Arbitration with the company:
While we won’t discuss details about ongoing litigation, we look forward to resolving all matters through the appropriate processes. Our commitment to building and sustaining a world class, inclusive culture at Riot is unchanged and we value everyone who has come forward to help us become a better company. We have acknowledged that there are improvements we can make to our culture and community -- we have made progress and are hyper-focused on continuing to do so. We have been evaluating all of our procedures and policies, including those related to arbitration. All of that work is well underway, and as we move forward, we will not hesitate to implement changes once we have thoughtfully assessed that these changes move us is the right direction for Riot and Rioters.
Regarding the Walkout:
We’re proud of our colleagues for standing up for what they believe in. We always want Rioters to have the opportunity to be heard, so we’re sitting down today to listen to their opinions and learn more about their perspectives on arbitration. We will also be discussing this topic during our biweekly all-company town hall on Thursday. Both are important forums for us to discuss our current policy and listen to feedback, which are important parts of evaluating all of our procedures and policies, including those related to arbitration.
Riot also wanted to take a moment and correct the record to point out that Riot hasn't blocked any legal action like some stories report. They did ask for a change in venue for the next stages of the suits, but the suits themselves are ongoing. They also pointed out that the "closed door" meetings aren't, in fact, closed door. They are open to not only all US Riot employees, but also Riot employees from around the globe, even if arbitration wouldn't apply to them.
ORIGINAL STORY: Riot Games continues to have less than a stellar time when it comes to employee relations -- at least if recent reports from both PC Gamer and Waypoint are anything to go by. Since Kotaku broke the story of sexism and harassment perpetrated by some of Riot's higher-ups last year, the company has been dealing with the fallout.
As it turns out, these actions have not been satisfactory for at least some of Riot's employees. For one thing, some take issue with the fact that Gelb is still employed at Riot at all.
During all of this, some of Riot's employees did file gender discrimination lawsuits. Reportedly, Riot's response to this was to try to move the lawsuits out of court and have them arbitrated. They backed this move by stating that women waived the right to sue the company when they were hired.
As a result of these issues, as well as a belief that the company is still not being transparent with its employees, reports are now surfacing that at least some of the Riot staff have been planning a walkout. According to two employees who spoke to Waypoint, not only are some employees involved with planning the walkout, but a large portion of other employees may support it.
This prompted a response from Riot's chief diversity officer who sent a message to Riot staffers via Slack addressing the walkout and promising a chance for employees to have their voice heard via "small group sessions" taking place today. They have also reportedly offered a chance for more communication during a company "town hall".
As of this writing, a walkout has not occurred. However, the employees may be waiting until after the proposed meetings to see what happens before doing something that could bring the company to a screeching halt.
As always, we will keep you updated on how this story develops. In fact, we've already reached out to Riot for comment, but haven't heard back yet. For now, we'll just have to wait and see.
About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various hobby sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.
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