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April 26, 2024

McCracken, et al. v. Riot Games Inc.

In November 2018, Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron filed a class action suit against video game maker Riot Games in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.  The suit, Melanie McCracken, et al. v. Riot Games Inc. (18STCV03957), alleged that Riot Games violated California’s Equal Pay Act via discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment on the basis of gender, among other claims. Dr. D.C. Sharp, an expert in applied econometrics with experience in class action employment litigation, was retained by counsel for the putative class.

Dr. Sharp was asked to determine the pay disparity, if any, of female employees at Riot Games.  To control for the influence of experience, job type, and other factors aside from gender on employee pay, Dr. Sharp relied upon a common statistical technique called multiple regression analysis.  Using Riot Games’ employee compensation data and multiple regression techniques, Dr. Sharp discovered large and statistically significant underpayments to female employees attributable to gender alone.  Based upon Dr. Sharp’s econometric work, a $100M settlement fund was established to resolve the pay disparity claims against Riot Games in July 2022.

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