- Esports Observer journalist reports that Riot’s lawyers are accusing the DFEH of interfering with the lawsuit
- According to them, DFEH is trying to remove Gabriela Downie from the lawsuit
- Downie was one of the leaders of the initial class action that was going to settle the case for $10 million before the DFEH intervened
Riot Games’ attorneys are reportedly unamused with DFEH’s attempts to take control over the dragging lawsuit.
Riot’s Lawyers Object to DFEH’s Actions
According to sources, Riot Games’ lawyers are accusing California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing of meddling with the lawsuit. The game company has been engaged in a long dragged-out case with the DFEH, which first started as a class action against Riot’s unhealthy and discriminative work environment.
James Fudge, the author of the original report, tells that Riot Games allege that the DFEH is trying to manipulate the outcome of the suit by removing Gabriela Downie from it as she supposedly no longer represents the class’ interests. In Riot’s lawyers’ words, this is a “blatant attempt by the DFEH to gain absolute power over the course of thе litigation by removing the women who have come forward to prosecute this action as Plaintiffs”.
Riot’s lawyers also claim that the DFEH is acting dishonestly on the Activision Blizzard front as well. According to their report, the California body is trying to prevent women involved in that other lawsuit from seeking private counsel.
The DFEH: Taking Action for a Fairer Workplace at Game Companies
The Riot Games lawsuit started as a class-action lawsuit from over 1000 of the company’s women who protested against maltreatment, a huge wage gap, and restricted career opportunities. Gabriela Downie, along with Jessica Negron served as class representatives and reached an agreement with Riot to settle the case for $10 million.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, however, determined that this was far from a reasonable amount and stepped in the lawsuit, demanding that Riot Games increase the settlement sum to $400 million or more.
The DFEH is currently involved in a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard as well, on the same claims that the company is mistreating women. The Blizzard case quickly spiraled out of control because of the company’s less-than-perfect approach to handling the situation.
The Blizzard case revealed that the company’s workplace nurtures a “frat boy culture” that results in men coming to work with a hangover, harassing women sexually, making private chats where they discuss their female colleagues’ bodies, and largely leaving most of the work to them.