The workers of Riot Games, the same corporation that brought the world League of Legends, are on strike.
With over 150 workers involved, it is the biggest corporate strike in the history of the video game industry. Forced arbitration and sexual misconduct have been an issue within company culture for years. Only now are people finally starting to speak up about it.
An article by popular video game blog, Kotaku, shed light on the company’s run-ins with inappropriate behavior last August. Dozens reported sexual harassment and discrimination within the workplace from higher-ups. In fact, when five employees filed lawsuits against the company regarding the matter, Riot responded by filing a motion forcing them to adhere to the arbitration clause.
Riot has since addressed this, releasing an official statement earlier this month:
As soon as current litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t quite changed attitudes within the company. While Riot Games has acknowledged the issue, many complain that they are attempting to forget past issues. The opt-out option is only available to workers once ‘current litigation is resolved’. That being said, the whole debacle at the very least has raised more awareness on the practice of forced arbitration.
Under arbitration, employees are not allowed to take disputes to the court. Instead, they are limited to internal resolution. This enables a lot of potential crimes to stay under the radar and not properly accounted for. For these reasons, the protest is still in full swing.
With the way things are being handled so far, the future is uncertain for Rioters. Stay tuned for more updates.