League of Legends publisher Riot Games has been hit by a lawsuit from one current and one former employee, accusing the company of "endemic gender-based discrimination" as well as fostering a 'men-first environment'.
The news comes from Kotaku, who previously published an important investigation by reporter Cecilia D'Anastasio into the "Culture of Sexism" at Riot.
"Like many of Riot Games' female employees, Plaintiffs have been denied equal pay and found their careers stifled because they are women", the lawsuit continues.
While Riot has appeared to have removed numerous people involved in creating this sexist culture, according to several and former employees of Riot, there are still a few on board who are "key alleged perpetrators of abusive behaviour", according to Kotaku's reporting.
McCracken states that for the past five years that she has worked for Riot Games, she was also denied promotions, which she ascertains are due to her gender, and not her capabilities. Jessica Negron, a former employee who is also one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, was also a source for the story.
Also in a statement, Corporate Communications Lead for Riot Games Joe Hixson said, "While we do not discuss the details of ongoing litigation, we can say that we take every allegation of this nature seriously and investigate them thoroughly".
The lawsuit offers several specific examples of how what it calls Riot's "bro culture" negatively affected female employees. They're also asking for an order forbidding Riot from violating California labor laws "by paying its female employees lower wages than it pays their male counterparts for substantially similar work", and that the suit be certified as a class action.
Furthermore, Negron claimed that "in just one month, she counted that her male colleagues at Riot used the word "dick" over 500 times", and one of Negron's supervisors said that "diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games' products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe haven for white teen boys". Despite a loose promise that the position should be hers, three separate men were hired for the role instead.
When McCracken complained to HR about his response and gender-based discrimination at Riot, the complaint says that HR failed to keep the meeting confidential and leaked the information to her supervisor. Her former supervisor, the complaint said, was promoted in a senior position there in 2016. In another supposed incident with her COO, Scott Gelb, McCracken was told by Gelb to "cover up" assorted rumors about his actions at a dance club. Riot Games' CEO and cofounder, Brandon Beck, is accused of using the phrase "no doesn't necessarily mean no" as a slogan for the company during an internal meeting.