Last week, we reported on Riot Games trying to remove their employees' right to sue them. The action came as the result of an exposé by Kotaku pointing out rampant sexism in the workplace. In response to Riot's forced arbitration idea, a large number of employees were planning a company walkout. Now Riot has responded to this threat, retracting their previous intentions.
In an announcement on the Riot Games website, the company stated that they will allow their staff to opt out of their "mandatory arbitration" clause for sexual harassment and assault claims.
"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. At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters."
This does mean, unfortunately, that this freedom will not become available until they are done going through the legal action currently against them. Only one sexual harassment claim at a time, I suppose.
This is followed by a 30, 60, and 90-day roadmap, listing the changes they intend to implement.
In 30 days we will:
Within 60 days we will:
- Post an internal job board so its easier for Rioters to explore new roles (aka laneswap) and advance
- Update our code of conduct to ensure were 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 90 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
- 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
There is something about this that I noticed. Riot specifically stated that staff can "opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims." Does this mean that any other reason still has to be done through arbitration? The fair option is to have no mandatory arbitration at all, not just opening the door to freedom by just a crack. Either way, this is a step in the right direction, at least.