Aug 16, 2021 - Technology

California presses Riot Games to let employees speak

The Riot Games logo on display.
The Riot Games logo on display. Photo: Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games Inc. via Getty Images

California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing is pressing “League of Legends” giant Riot Games to let its current and former employees know they can speak freely with the agency about sexist conduct at the studio.

Why it matters: The DFEH has been in the news for its industry-shaking anti-discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

  • It also has had Riot in its sights since finding that a settlement between Riot and women who worked there was inadequate. It has a pending action against the company.

Between the lines: In a filing to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, the DFEH said Riot was stalling on informing workers they could speak to the agency.

  • The department contends that language in Riot’s settlement and separation agreements “suggested” those who signed weren’t free to talk.
  • Such restrictions violate anti-retaliation and anti-interference provisions of the law, DFEH director Kevin Kish said. That led to an agreement between Riot and the DFEH to inform workers they could do so.

What they're saying: "Riot has never and will never retaliate against anyone for talking to any government agency," a company rep told Axios.

  • The company says it is sending notices to employees "to confirm that Riot’s severance agreements have never in any way prohibited speaking to government agencies."
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