Riot Games faces another lawsuit. The company’s CEO Nicolo Laurent is accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct and discrimination. He promised to cooperate, although Riot denies a former employee’s claims.
A lawsuit was filed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court last month, according to the report by The Washington Post. Riot Games’ former executive assistant Sharon O’Donnell accused the company’s CEO Nicolo Laurent of gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
The former employee worked at Riot for three years and was fired in July of 2020. She claims that Laurent made numerous sexual comments, criticized her for having an “abusive tone” and being “thick skinned and abrasive.”
O’Donnell alleged that Laurent invited to travel with him and work from home when his wife wouldn’t be around, while also making comments about the fit of his underwear. According to the lawsuit, her contract was terminated as soon as she complained to the company’s HR department.
However, Riot Games denied O’Donnell’s accusations. The company said in the statement that she was dismissed following over a dozen “well-documented” complaints from both employees and external partners. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” a Riot Games spokesperson added.
According to the company, it established a special committee of its board of directors to conduct an investigation with the help of an outside law firm. Nicolo Laurent also pledged his full cooperation and support.
In her lawsuit, O’Donnell describes Riot as the company having a “male-dominant culture” where women face discrimination and are treated as “second class citizens.” Her accusations come two years after a Kotaku investigation about Riot’s toxic workplace environment.
Since then, the company has hired a chief diversity officer and claimed it made a few steps towards changing the situation.
Riot Workers United, a collective of workers advocating for change, reacted to O’Donnell’s accusations today. The group called Riot a company “where leaders have not been held accountable.” They also expressed their hope that Sharon will be given “appropriate reparations for the harm done to them.”
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