After leading a internal investigation, Riot Games said it had found “no evidence” of harassment by CEO Nicolo Laurent against a former employee, Sharon O’Donnell, the Washington post reported. “We concluded that there was no evidence that Laurent harassed, discriminated against or retaliated against the complainant,” the company said in a declaration. “We therefore came to the conclusion that at this time … no action should be taken against Laurent.”
Riot, which publishes games including League of Legends and Valuing, opened the investigation after Laurent, a former executive assistant, filed a lawsuit against the company. He alleged Laurent made inappropriate sexual comments, telling him to be more feminine and to watch his tone. Laurent also said that because O’Donnell refused his advances, she was stripped of her post and was ultimately fired. She also alleges that she was not paid for her work, including overtime, nor was she granted meal breaks.
After an investigation by an external legal team, a special committee of the board of directors concluded that the claims were without merit. “This is not a recommendation that we take lightly,” the committee said in a statement. “Most cases of this nature are not black and white; they fall in gray. However, this was not one of those cases. In this case, we just couldn’t find a evidence that would justify a sanction of any kind against Laurent. ”The company also asked the court to expedite legal proceedings in O’Donnell’s lawsuit by referring the case to arbitration.
The company also faces a class action lawsuit for pervasive discrimination and harassment, following a 2018 Kotaku investigation and company-wide walkout. Riot Games is also trying to push for arbitration in this lawsuit, arguing that the women involved had signed arbitration clauses when they were hired.
Riot’s board, however, said the decision in Laurent’s favor was separate from more important corporate culture issues. “While our conclusion in this particular case is that no discrimination, harassment or retaliation has taken place, let’s be clear that as a committee we remain fully invested in overseeing the company’s initiatives to transform the culture. of Riot, ”he said. “We encourage any Riot employee who has suffered a misconduct to feel safe to report it.”