Employees expect that they will be treated fairly by their employer. Unfortunately, that is not always what happens. Some employers will treat certain employees in ways that they do not deserve, simply because they are of a different gender, sexual orientation, religion or part of another protected class. Workplace discrimination laws exist to protect employees in those classes and to provide them with a path for legal recourse. A video game publisher, Riot Games, is contending with those issues as the company faces a civil lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Representatives from the DFEH claim that they asked Riot Games to show them evidence of employee salaries and pay information. They say that it is part of their investigation of alleged gender discrimination. The investigation started late last year and DFEH claims that Riot Games has not complied with its request. Representatives for DFEH are examining claims of unequal pay, sexual harassment, sexual assault, retaliation and gender discrimination, all allegedly directed at female employees.
Due to Riot Games supposed noncompliance, the DFEH is now filing an investigation of enforcement lawsuit. Riot previously said it would work to change employees' behavior and create a safe work environment after a media outlet launched its own investigation into these allegations. Despite this, over 150 employees participated in a walkout in protest of forced arbitration against two employees who were suing Riot Games for violations of the Equal Pay Act. Riot Games, for its part, claims that it has provided DFEH with documentation and opportunities for communication.
However this case turns out, it is an excellent reminder of employees' rights regarding workplace discrimination. No worker should ever feel unsafe or undervalued in the workplace due to race, gender, beliefs or other protected status. Workers here in California who feel their workplace rights may have been violated can speak with an employment law attorney to determine the best course of action.