Riot Games employees walk out to protest forced arbitration for sexual harassment lawsuits

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Gee the online game known to have the most toxic userbase also has the most toxic company culture.
Who would have figured?


what i didn’t figure is that the people working there in the trenches want things to change.

i think it’s going to be difficult because it sounds like the founders might be the problem. but they’re also owned by tencent now, so maybe people closer to the top top will step in


Why the hell is a second (and makes you 2nd class) justice system allowed to operate.

There has to be a mechanism for ending forced arbitration clauses when the behaviour is criminal.


In unity is strength. I hope this is going to rebuild the culture of unionism.


sadly, because a majority of the members of the u.s. supreme court said it could.


Seems like a law could easily be written about it. Like you cannot force someone via contract to give up certain legal rights. Pretty sure you couldn’t, let’s say, sign a contract agreeing to let someone enslave you or kill you, right? How are other legal rights ok to sign away.


It’s about time. I’m glad to see they and other tech workers (notably Google employees) beginning to fight back against the clear abuse that’s been going on in the tech sector. Particularly the toxic 'bro culture violations of fair labor practices under the thin guise of “we’re cool and laid back around here, 'bro. Now here’s a punch in the nads!”


It’s difficult to understand. It’s one of the principles of common law that you can’t contract away statutory (or constitutional) rights… But the US Supreme Court has taken on some really rather strange ideas over the years.

If you believe in original intention you are allowing the opinions of a bunch of slave owners to define how we should interpret things now. Indefensible to me.


Are you fucking kidding me? “Farted on”? I guess they aren’t public because I can’t find Gelb’s salary. I wonder what they are paying their Chief Operating Officer to get this important work done for them. Gotta pay high salaries to get the best people, you know.

I had to urban dictionary “ball tapped” - hitting someone in the testicles. And anything you’d describe as “humping” would be sexual assault. Suspended without pay? How about “in prison”?

This is what I think every time I see these issues come up. There was a case in Ontario that affirmed basically exactly this - Uber drivers took Uber to court saying their arbitration clause couldn’t be enforced, and the court ruled in their favour (Uber is probably appealing to the supreme court, but this being Canada rather than the US I don’t think they have a hope in hell, I doubt the court will even hear the appeal). So now the drivers can sue the company. Unfortunately Ontario court cases can’t help people in the US.

It’s also a hell of an uphill battle.


Really encouraging to see this. And brave of the employees to take a stand! I hope others in the industry follow their example.


Why the hell is a second (and makes you 2nd class) justice system allowed to operate.

I don’t see any issues with the idea of arbitration. Having two companies tie up court resources arguing over how to interpret language in a contract, only to settle at the last minute before the court can make a ruling anyway, doesn’t do the public any good. If they want to go to arbitration, let 'em. Maybe it will free up some court resources and people who do want to go to court won’t have to wait two years for a trial date.

However, the practice of imposing mandatory arbitration on individuals is greasy AF. Thankfully (at least here in Canada) courts are pretty skeptical of the practice and will interpret these clauses narrowly, but sometimes if the contract is well drafted there’s not much they can do.

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Seems to me that if Riot Games doesn’t want to agree the employees could literally walk away and set up their own company, maybe call it Riotous as a fuck you.
I suppose it is harder said than done, but what are their options? To stay with a company that has a problem culture and a reluctance to deal with it or find a new job?

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That is why the phrase “except where prohibited by law” should be part of any employment/arbitration agreement. If it isn’t, then that is where a very generous severance package should be included.

(It is fun to watch HR and the legal department try to object to such a phrase.)

i don’t know that i see the point. if it’s prohibited by law, it’s prohibited. it doesn’t matter if two people entered a contract saying it’s okay. like if one person agreed to be killed if the office coffee pot was ever left empty, it’s still murder ( even tho clearly justifiable )


finding a new job is really the only option ( other than doing as they are and trying to get concessions. )

riot games was sold for over 400 million dollars solely for league of legends. that money represents ten plus years of software, art, and design contributions from these same employees. it’s their baby, if you will.

if they try to form their own company: what do they have? talent, surely. but, assets? none.

it’s understandable they don’t want to give that up just because the money people are awful.


The idea is that if any malfeasance is performed, although not necessarily directed to you, it isn’t a “buying of your silence/NDA” and hiding this as “company secrets” hence the agreement doesn’t cover keeping the bad behavior secret.

It merely means that you don’t need permission/prompting of a judge to turn states evidence against your employer and employment conditions.

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If they have forced arbitration clauses in their contracts, I would bet good money that they also have non-compete clauses.


I’ll take that bet: California.

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Fair point. If they don’t have non-competes, they should definitely take the talent and run.