Riot Games Sued for Harassment by CEO’s Former Assistant

Riot Games Inc. was sued by a former executive assistant of Chief Executive Officer Nicolo Laurent who alleges she was fired because she refused to have sex with him.

Sharon O’Donnell said in a harassment and discrimination complaint filed last month in Los Angeles Superior Court that Laurent explicitly and implicitly conditioned job benefits on her acceptance of sexual conduct. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Riot Games said in a statement that an outside law firm is investigating O’Donnell’s allegations and that Laurent has pledged to fully cooperate with it. O’Donnell, according to the company’s statement, was dismissed because of more than a dozen complaints about her from other employees and external partners and after multiple coaching sessions to address these.

“Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” the company said.

The video-game maker has found itself in legal trouble before over alleged discrimination and harassment of female employees. Last year, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing intervened in a class-action lawsuit by female workers to block a proposed $10 million settlement because, the state claimed, it grossly undervalued the women’s claims. That case is still pending.

The case is O’Donnell v. Riot Games, 21STCV00596, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.