LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A former Riot Games employee filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleging disability discrimination, wrongful termination, and breach of contract.
Peter Grossman, 51, had joined the developer of the blockbuster MMO League of Legends as a recruiter in 2011. During his first several years at the company, Grossman’s performance was commended many times, and he was awarded both with greater pay and career advancement, rising to senior recruiter and then lead recruiter.
However, following a major depressive episode in 2014, Grossman sought out support and lawful accommodation for his disability, as required by state and federal law, and this is when the lawsuit alleges that Riot Games soured on him.
In the months and years that followed, Grossman claims that he was subjected to a variety of discriminatory tactics: He was relegated to a menial, repetitive job; placed on probationary status; had his work mischaracterized and over-scrutinized; and was subjected to repeated criticism, before finally being terminated in 2017.
During this time, the lawsuit notes that Grossman made numerous efforts to seek out lawful accommodation, as he loved his job and was eager to find a resolution, but that his efforts were met only with hostility. The lawsuit alleges that Grossman’s disability and age were the motivations behind his awful treatment following what had been a successful career track.
Grossman’s attorney, Carney Shegerian of Los Angeles employment law firm Shegerian & Associates, noted that this behavior is typical in these types of cases: “An employer can turn ugly very suddenly when an employee discloses a disability condition,” Shegerian said. “Together with Mr. Grossman’s age, we have seen many cases like this where a valued employee is cast aside for discriminatory reasons. This behavior is against the law and we intend to hold the defendants accountable.”
The lawsuit also names Tencent Holdings Limited, a Chinese conglomerate and majority stakeholder in Riot Games, as a defendant, as well as various specific individuals who had worked with Grossman directly.
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