“League of Legends” developer Riot Games will soon start giving new employees the option to opt-out of some mandatory arbitration requirements when they are hired, the company announced early Friday.
The decision, which was made during Riot’s bi-weekly all-company town hall Thursday night, is initially narrowly focused on a specific set of employees for a specific set of causes.
“As soon as current litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims,” according to a blog post on the company’s website. “At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters.
“We know that this resolution will not satisfy all Rioters. We understand and respect Rioters who choose to protest this decision on Monday, and admire their conviction and willingness to stand up for their beliefs.”
The promise to make changes to the company’s arbitration comes after Riot Games employees started planning a walkout for this coming Monday. The walkout is spurred by Riot’s attempts to end two lawsuits — both about sexism and misconduct at the studio — via forced arbitration.
In Friday’s blog post, Riot detailed its own current arbitration policy, note that:
Riot covers all costs of the arbitrator.
Both parties must agree on the arbitrator. Either party can reject an arbitrator — for example, based on their history of past cases — and the case will not proceed until a neutral arbitrator is selected.
The plaintiff can hire a lawyer of their choosing.
There is no confidentiality clause, which means the plaintiff can communicate about their suit against the company in the same ways they could in court.
The plaintiff is allowed fulsome discovery.
The agreement does not limit damages, which means there is no cap on total potential damages awarded, or the types of damages awarded — for example punitive or consequential damages.
“We are facing a complicated situation with no perfect solution, so arriving at a decision has not been easy,” according to the blog. “We are working diligently to resolve all ongoing litigation, so that we can quickly take steps toward a solution that more Rioters feel good about. This is where we are right now, but this is an ongoing process and there’s more to come.”
The company also reiterated its commitment to changes surrounding diversity, inclusion, and cultural transformation at the company.
In 30 days we will:
Post an internal job board so it’s easier for Rioters to explore new roles (aka “laneswap”) and advance
Update our code of conduct to ensure we’re doubling down in the right places and that all our policies are crystal clear
Kick off new training programs in feedback and ally skills
Commit to interviewing a diverse slate of candidates for new job listings
Within 60 days we will:
Implement a new process for interviewing for values and gaming experience
Launch a new anti-harassment training for all new hires
Complete Chief Diversity Officer D&I and Values listening sessions
Hold Values workshops for the executive team and senior leaders
Finish our full pay equity analysis
Within 90 days we will:
Make changes to ensure fairness throughout our recruiting process
Begin to roll out the results of our “job architecture” review that will help provide logic and consistency in job titles and expectations by role
Launch a new cultural recognition program
Create a D&I scorecard that will allow us to continue to track progress over time
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