More than 150 employees at Riot Games were arranged a walkout yesterday. Outside the developer's LA offices, workers are gathered to protest against the company's coercive arbitration guidelines and speak in support of their counterparts.
Last year, Kotaku published a comprehensive report describing a culture of sexism in Riot. Employees now sue the company for gender discrimination. Rebellion attempts to force two of these women into arbitration – a move that will block them from taking legal action and instead requiring them to go through a private system. As mentioned by our sister site Vox compulsory arbitration is stacked in favor of employers because it "allows companies to hide inaccuracy that would otherwise be disclosed in court." Arbitrators are also more likely to rule in favor of employers than jury members, Vox notes, and they are less likely to give significant settlements when companies are found to be wrong.
The exit is greeted the first of its kind in the gaming industry: A protest against power on behalf of workers in support of work processes. "You demonstrate to all of us in this industry that true change can only come when you and your co-workers stand up for one another, share mutual respect and develop deep relationships with care and support in the workplace," says Game Workers Unite International in a public statement. There is a long history of people, ordinary people, fighting, just like yours in the gaming, technology and entertainment industries. Today you build on the foundation laid by countless workers before you, who refused to accept things as they were and built a better world. Today you carry that movement forward. "
It's a strong and recent precedent that these demonstrations have been working in technology. Last year, tens of thousands of Google employees attended a walkout to protest against the company's culture of sexism and harassment shielding. In February, Google said it would
On Twitter, many workers and game industries work colleagues with support with hashtag #RiotWalkout. Today, Riot is employees in Dublin also holding their own exit .
In a statement to The Verge Riot says it supports its employees and asks leaders to "make each accommodation for to allow Rioters to participate "at 14.00 to 16.00 PT." We respect Rioters who choose to leave today and will not tolerate retaliation of any kind as a result of participating (or not), "the company said. 19659008] Riot won't e Change their policies in active litigation, but it does have plans to change their policies ahead. "As soon as active litigation is resolved, we will give every new Rioter the opportunity to depart from the mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault," the company said. "At that time, we will also commit to having a solid answer on the potential to expand scope and expand this opt-out to all Rioters. We work hard to resolve all active litigation, so that we can quickly take steps towards a solution. "
The decision to end compulsory arbitration was announced internally after the end of April's end of April. In response to rumors of the impending walkout, the leaders handled the problem of employees via Slack and in extra meetings. According to reports from Kotaku and LA Times have employees planning to take further action against cases such as arbitration if the company does not show engagement, but it is unclear what it may involve.
"The people here – and the people who go out today are passionate about their work, their workplace and the people they work with, which is why we are trying to communicate our dissatisfaction with management, "a Riot employee told The Verge via Twitter DM "I can't speak to anyone except myself to this point, but I wouldn't go if I didn't believe Riot could do what is right."