Riot Employees Stage Walkout to Protest Forced Arbitration Policies
Riot Employees Stage Walkout to Protest Forced Arbitration Policies
Nunu Bot from League of Legends Riot Games
08 May, 2019, 00:23
In response to those lawsuits, Riot filed a motion to block two of them, because the employees signed arbitration agreements, which waived their rights to a jury trial against the company.
Apart from trying to silence the lawsuits, Riot also took little to no action to change the ill company culture and retained numerous people involved in sexual harassment, including COO Scott Gelb. In a comment to Kotaku, one employee said, "I'm walking out as a symbolic action to signal to leadership that I care about this issue". Another employee announced that she would quit the company, saying, "I'm quitting because I don't want to see people who were protected by people in high places in Riot", referencing the case of Riot COO Scott Gelb being retained by the company despite numerous sexual harassment claims. An unknown number of Riot employees in Dublin also participated to show solidarity with their colleagues in the United States.
Riot's massive walkout happened on May 6 and was supported by multiple members of the League of Legends community, both in person and online.
"It's been eight months since the original [Kotaku] article was released and so far I haven't seen a single outcome of our diversity and inclusion efforts at Riot", a current employee said. As part of this, Riot promised to give incoming employees the ability to opt out of forced arbitration.
As expected, not all Riot workers agreed with the walkout. We have asked all managers to make every accommodation to allow Rioters to participate during the 2-4pm window, including freeing up meeting times. "We support Rioters making their voices heard today", said the publisher in comments to Variety. But it also reaffirmed that it will not change its policies "while in active litigation".
The video game developer also said that it would deliver an answer on whether it will extend that opt-out option to all past and present employees.
Yesterday's protest, which called for forced arbitration to be ended for all past, current and future Riot employees, was also meant to give Riot management a clear sign that staff are unhappy with what they consider to be conflicting messages. "We are working diligently to resolve all active litigation so that we can quickly take steps toward a solution".
Many Rioters in attendance of the walkout gave impassioned speeches about the changes they wanted to see in the company. "I hope leadership takes the time to seriously listen to the issues". "The workers participating in the walkout at Riot today are evoking and building on a deep legacy of worker democracy and power in the tech industries".
However, the same representative confirmed that Riot would not change its policies regarding employee arbitration until the current litigation was resolved.
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