Employees across industries in California want to trust that their company has their best interests in mind. They understand that turning a profit is part of any business, although there are certain industries where workers feel coerced into working overtime with no extra pay. The video game development industry is reportedly a perfect example of this. One large company, Riot Games, is now facing an employment contract dispute over what former employees say was unfair treatment, and workers are wondering if unionizing will prevent this kind of abuse of power.
Employees of Riot Games say that they often felt pressured into not standing up for themselves, due to the high demand to work in their chosen field. They were made to sign forced arbitration agreements before being hired by the company, which stated that employees could not sue the company, but would have to resolve any disputes through negotiations led by company representatives. Opponents of forced arbitration say that it contributes to a hostile work environment, particularly for women, who are underrepresented in the video game development industry. People have less means to fight against workplace discrimination with contract clauses like these.
Media outlets have accused Riot Games of pay discrimination, unfair promotion practices and sexual harassment, saying that women were especially targeted. Critics say that Riot Games did not actively work to increase diversity at the company, and many are now wondering if creating a union will guard against worker exploitation. Five current and former employees have decided to sue Riot Games for gender discrimination and violation of California's Equal Pay Act in the hopes of improving conditions for workers.
Employees who feel manipulated into unfair labor practices may fear that they have no legal recourse, but that is not the case. Those workers who have questions about an employment contract dispute can find answers with an experienced employment attorney. No one deserves to be mistreated at the hands of an employer.