Riot Games investigating claims of gender discrimination by CEO
Riot Games verified Tuesday that it is examining accusations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment by its CEO, Nicolo Laurent, because of a legal complaint against the League of Legends and Valorant designer.
The legal complaint by previous Riot executive assistant Sharon O’Donnell was submitted in January 2021. O’Donnell, who was terminated by Riot in July 2020, is demanding lost earnings, medical costs and general damages related to her employment.
” Core to offering Rioters confidence in our dedication to culture improvement is taking all claims of harassment or discrimination extremely seriously, thoroughly examining claims and taking action against anyone who is found to have actually violated our policies,” Riot spokesperson Joe Hixson stated in a declaration. “In this case, since some of the claims connect to an executive leader, a special committee of our Board of Directors is overseeing the investigation, which is being conducted by an outside law firm.
” Our CEO has actually promised his full cooperation and support during this procedure, and we’re dedicated to guaranteeing that all claims are thoroughly explored and properly dealt with.”
O’Donnell joined Riot in 2017 and worked there till her alleged “wrongful termination” in July 2020, according to the grievance. During the course of her work, O’Donnell declares she was repeatedly chewed out by Laurent and was regularly informed to “view her tone” by the CEO.
A few of O’Donnell’s other accusations include Laurent telling female workers the finest technique to handle tension throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was to “have kids.” She also declared Laurent made sexual advances towards her and asked O’Donnell to travel with him beyond work.
O’Donnell stated in the grievance that when she decreased Laurent’s deal, he chewed out her and later on had her work tasks removed. She stated she was criticized by the CEO for her “tone,” and she stated she thinks her termination, which took place quickly after she grumbled to Riot’s personnels department about Laurent’s habits, was in direct relation to declining the CEO’s supposed advances.
Throughout her employment, O’Donnell declares, she was a non-exempt staff member covered by the wage and hour laws of the California Labor Code and the appropriate Wage Orders. However, she was treated as an exempt worker, indicating she did not receive the advantages made up by the labor code in California. O’Donnell needs to have been spent for all hours of her work, received meal breaks/rest breaks and been paid for overtime, according to the files.
In the grievance, O’Donnell stated she was subject to work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, but frequently remained for overtime and worked on weekends. Although Laurent was apparently knowledgeable about this, O’Donnell declared she did not receive payment for her additional work.
” One topic we can deal with right away is the complainant’s claim about their separation from Riot,” the business stated in a statement. “The complainant was dismissed from the company over seven months ago based upon numerous well-documented grievances from a variety of people. Any recommendation otherwise is simply false.”
O’Donnell’s legal council declined to comment.
Riot Games is also under restored analysis from numerous federal government firms in California due to alleged “gender discrimination in hiring, pay and promo decisions; sexual harassment; and retaliation by Riot against its female staff members,” according to documents obtained by Daily Esports.
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) launched a joint declaration on Feb. 3 claiming that Riot “broke the law in multiple ways” in regard to its treatment of ladies in the office. The notification is a continuation of the continuous McCracken et al. vs Riot Games case from November 2018, when the DFEH later on started an examination following a report by Kotaku in 2018 on the “brother culture” and misogynistic environment at Riot.
The examination, which started in December 2020, will cover the “period of time which salaries, penalties, damages, or other quantities which may be evaluated by the labor commissioner,” according to the file. The query, set to last for 12 months, will examine O’Donnell’s claims made in the grievance.