State of California to investigate Riot Games for gender discrimination

The can of worms that has been Riot Games’ culture of sexism and discrimination not only won’t close but keeps coming back at the game developer. On Wednesday, the State of California filed a suit against Riot Games to investigate alleged gender discrimination within the company.

“The Department [of Fair Employment and Housing] is seeking to require Riot to provide the Department with employee pay data as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged gender discrimination at the Los Angeles-based video game developer,” the letter reads.

“According to the DFEH’s enforcement suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Riot Games, Inc. has refused to provide the Department with adequate information for DFEH to analyze whether women are paid less than men at the company. DFEH seeks the information as part of an investigation into alleged unequal pay, sexual harassment, sexual assault, retaliation, and gender discrimination in selection and promotion.”

The investigation comes almost a full year after Kotaku first reported on Riot Games’ culture of sexism, describing an environment of inappropriate behavior by even some of the most senior members of the company. While Riot vowed to take steps and fix said culture, more than 150 employees still walked out earlier in May to protest Riot’s forced private arbitration policies.

“Today’s actions only serve to silence the voices of individuals who speak out against such misconduct and demonstrate that the company’s words were no more than lip service,” Ryan Sava, lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Kotaku at the time.

An investigation by the State of California could bring even more damage to Riot Games, if the Departments finds any irregularities. With a lot of negative PR already hanging above the League of Legends’ developer’s hand, any further instances of unequal pay or similar gender discrimination could seriously damage one of the biggest players on the gaming market.