Alongside Activision Blizzard, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing has looked into Riot Games recently. Advising they've got a history of “unlawful workplace practices”, the DFEH released a statement yesterday about the Valorant and League of Legends developer delaying this.
While investigating allegations surrounding harassment and sexual discrimination at Riot Games, California's been looking into this for several years. Back in 2019, Riot informed the DFEH they'd reached "secret settlement agreements" with roughly "100 women who waived their claims and rights", who then asked for evidence of this.
Riot Games Reportedly Delaying Discrimination And Harassment Investigations
As reported by Kotaku, the DFEH have faced repeated delays, who stated:
Agreements that attempt to bar individuals from filing a complaint or assisting in a DFEH case run afoul of the anti-retaliation and anti-interference provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Employers cannot impose a penalty on people who engage in protected activity under statutes enforced by DFEH. The very existence of such agreements has a chilling effect on the willingness of individuals to come forward with information that may be of importance to the DFEH as it seeks to advance the public interest in the elimination of unlawful employment discrimination and harassment.
Detailing this further, that statement claims Riot delayed production of these reports until April 2021, informing us they were "alarmed" by language used in Riot's settlement. Within those agreements, the DFEH believes employees were unable to speak "voluntarily and candidly speak" with the government. Now issuing a corrective notice, the DFEH stats Riot delayed the process by two months.
In response to this, Riot Games offered comment to Kotaku, saying this matter related to former employees, not current staff. Stating their severance agreements "never in any way prohibited speaking to government agencies”, they also advised that they'd never "retaliate against anyone" for speaking with a government agency.