Riot Games employees may walk out today in protest over forced arbitration

Riot Games has found itself in hot water lately over harassment and sexism concerns within the studio, and now it looks like employees are preparing to walk out today in protest over Riot's forced arbitration policies, which prevents employees from filing lawsuits against the developer.

Speaking with Kotaku, one current Riot employee hopes that this walkout will force leadership to listen to their concerns. "I'm walking out as a symbolic action to signal to leadership that I care about this issue," they said. "I hope leadership takes the time to seriously listen to the issues."

Part of the issue stems from lawsuits that five current and former employees filed last year alleging that Riot Games violated the California Equal Pay Act, which happens to cite a previous Kotaku investigation into the company's discriminatory hiring practices and work culture. Riot moved to block those lawsuits on the grounds that the employees waived their rights to sue because they had signed arbitration agreements.

In response to this entire situation and the attention it has been getting, Riot held a company-wide meeting last week and stated that it would give new, incoming employees the option to opt out of the arbitration agreements. However, Riot stopped short of offering this same option to current employees until the current lawsuits have been resolved. And even then, it's not a guarantee.

According to one organizer, around 100 employees are expected to walk out today at the Los Angeles-based studio. A company representative has told Kotaku that Riot is supporting the walkout.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.