According to a report by The Esports Observer and Sports Business Journal, the attorneys representing women in the lawsuit against Riot Games for gender discrimination and harassment filed a complaint alleging that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is interfering in their class-action suit. The California personal injury law firm JML alleged that the DFEH is trying to remove one of its clients by the name of Gabriela Downie from the suit.
“The DFEH’s bravado, while impressive in its size is disturbing because its actions seek to disenfranchise women of Riot by preventing their participation in this case and leaving DFEH with unfettered control over the case’s process and outcome,” the JML court filing said.
JML represents Downie, Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron. The Sept. 10 filing is the most recent development of the lawsuit involving Riot Games, female workers alleging harassment and the DFEH.
This filing is in response to an emergency order from the state government agency, also filed to the Los Angeles Superior court on Sept. 10, which attempts to block any actions related to the finalization of settlements.
“The sole purpose of this ex parte is for DFEH to eliminate Plaintiffs and their counsel from this case so that DFEH can be the sole decision maker in how the case is prosecuted,” the filing said.
The filing also claims that the government entity is interfering with a separate but related case: Department of Fair Employment and Housing vs. Activision Blizzard, Inc. It states that the DFEH has sent emails to women working at Activision Blizzard urging them to not seek private legal council.
According to a Bloomberg Law report, the DFEH asked the court on Monday, in a separate filing, to force Riot to send over employment records. This request is in effort to analyze whether the organization discriminates based on race and gender when paying its employees. The agency alleges that the documents Riot has produced are “selective and incomplete.”