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Riot misled staff about their right to speak out on harassment and discrimination, California says

Riot denies claims.

Riot misled staff about their right to speak out about harassment and discrimination, according to the State of California.

Riot has denied the claims.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing - the same agency suing Activision Blizzard over what it alleges to be a "frat boy" culture that created "a breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women" - said League of Legends maker Riot failed to tell its staff of their right to speak to the government about harassment and discrimination. The DFEH filed its own lawsuit against Riot in February.

Riot's headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

The DFEH has now asked the courts "to compel Riot Games Inc.'s compliance with the Court's 4th June 2021 order requiring the company to send a notice to its workers about their rights to speak with DFEH".

The notice advises workers of their right to speak freely with the government about unlawful workplace practices and participate in DFEH's pending action, without fear of retaliation, regardless of non-disclosure terms in their settlement agreements, DFEH said.

In 2018 the US government launched a company-wide investigation of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and sexual assault at Riot Games. A year later, Riot announced it had reached "secret settlement agreements" with approximately 100 women who waived their claims and rights, without notice of the government's actions, DFEH claimed.

DFEH said it was "alarmed" by language in Riot's settlement and separation agreements that "suggested employees could not voluntarily and candidly speak with the government about sexual harassment and other violations".

The court then ordered Riot to issue the corrective notice, but, according to DFEH, Riot has delayed the process for two months.

Riot told The Verge "notices are being sent to former employees to confirm that Riot's severance agreements have never in any way prohibited speaking to government agencies". Riot also took issue with DFEH's claims about the settlement language.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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