Print 17 comment(s) - last by timmiser.. on Apr 26 at 7:34 PM

EA has settled a class action lawsuit brought by current and former software engineers regarding overtime pay

Electronic Arts as well as current and former computer programmers in Electronic Arts' California studios have announced a settlement agreement on claims for overtime compensation. Under the terms of the settlement, the claims against EA will be dismissed, and EA will make a total payment of $14.9 million. 

Any portion of the settlement that is unclaimed will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities and to establish scholarships at five selected universities for female and minority students interested in studying interactive entertainment. The five universities are Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Stanford University, and Morehouse/Spelman College.

Settlement of the case, which is pending in the Superior Court of San Mateo County, California, must be approved by the Court before it becomes effective.

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Uhmmm yeah
By timmiser on 4/26/2006 7:58:45 AM , Rating: 5
Oh, Oh and I almost forgot, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday, so if you could be here around nine? That would be great. I'm also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, we uhh, lost some people this week and uhhh, we need to sort of play catch-up. UmmmKK? Thanks!

RE: Uhmmm yeah
By igloo15 on 4/26/2006 9:59:56 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and more thing your forgot to turn in your TPS report today...

RE: Uhmmm yeah
By vbNetGuy on 4/26/2006 1:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, didn't you get that memo?

RE: Uhmmm yeah
By timmiser on 4/26/2006 7:34:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. The coversheet. I know, I know. Uh, Bill talked to me about it. Yeah. I got the memo. And I understand the policy. The problem is, I just forgot this one time. And I've already taken care of it so it's not even a problem anymore.

On another note, now that EA has paid out their millions, you want to know what I would do with a million dollars? I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man.

By Acanthus on 4/26/2006 4:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
This would be a crap settlement for the employees they illegally refused to pay...

By hwhacker on 4/26/2006 6:27:06 AM , Rating: 2
There were two class-action suit regarding overtime pay to EA employees iirc. This seems to be the less one.

You have to feel bad for these guys (the programmers, not the heads of EA whom seem to be bastards). They were forced to work 7-day work-weeks from 9AM-10PM, with the occassional Saturday ending at 6:30PM...if things were running on course. Regardless of the work being done, that truely is white-collar slavery to keep their jobs. I doubt anyone signed up for that (Assuming they were on salary) when they signed the dotted line.

By psychobriggsy on 4/26/2006 9:16:15 AM , Rating: 2
The sad thing is most programmers think they're too clever and know-it-all to require being a member of a body that would actually ensure that working practices were fair, namely a union (if it was run well, which is a major sticking point with the implementation of the concept).

There's a big difference between working an extra hour or two a couple of times a week, doing a Saturday if a deadline is approaching, etc, and working 90 hour weeks with no overtime pay all the time.

Sure, you can quit, but that's dependant on there being jobs available for you to move to (not that you have the time to go to an interview if you're working those hours). The obvious solution is to not have the company abusing its workers, or at least renumerating them fairly and ensuring regular time off and decent holidays.

However I can't see why any decent programmer would stay in such a situation, so I assume that all the EA programmers aren't very good, or they're fresh and want experience and will put up with a couple of years of hardship.


Also I don't know why so many hours of work are needed to update the player and team stats in a multitude of updated-yearly games :p

It was Bad
By nowayout99 on 4/26/2006 11:42:04 AM , Rating: 2
People will say whatever they want about EA, but one thing you can't do is place all blame on its coders and artists.

I have a very close friend at EA. He'd go in by 9 or 10 AM, and often would not be able to leave until 2 AM. He'd go home, sleep for 5 hours, rinse and repeat the following day.

He sometimes did complete overnighters as well. He did more than a few 30+ hour shifts.

You would be one *sadistic* MFer to make employees work hours like that and expect the final products to be any good. He's VERY good at what he does, but under those conditions no talent is going to save the company's piss poor sequels.

He's part of the settlement and absolutely deserves every penny he gets from it.

RE: It was Bad
By Spinne on 4/26/2006 11:54:04 AM , Rating: 2
Is that why NFS:MW has those horrible 90+ degree turns at random? My apartmnent mate and I have always figured that the level designers at EA must be pissed at something.

RE: It was Bad
By nowayout99 on 4/26/2006 12:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, possibly.

By Orpheus333 on 4/26/2006 10:12:49 AM , Rating: 2
If there is one company I cannot stand- its definitely EA. They are more an advertising company than they are a video game company. I would love to see them, just once, release a game with the "its done when its done" mentality ala id and DooM 3.

My main beeef with them is that horrid glitch/system leech/virus they call BF2. NFSU:MW wasn't actually that bad. In any case, If the original suit was for hundreds of million EA is sticking it to their employees even when they sue over it getting stuck to them... Now they just quell the media and quietly fire the plaintiffs. business as usual, I doubt this will cause any changes at EA- just greater hostility to employees.

RE: Rawr
By Spinne on 4/26/2006 11:51:28 AM , Rating: 2
I like Id's 'It's Done When It's Done' policy too, but lets face it - Doom3 was horribly late and that is partially why it wasn't bigger than it was. I remember the leaked Alpha build of Doom3 when my old Radeon9700Pro came out and I remember reading that Carmack had said that the R300 was the first GPU that could play Doom3 at decent framerates. I remember because I was happy that I had made the right product choice and that Carmack had endorsed the R300. How much time between that and when the game actually came out - roughly a year? In that much time, Doom3's revolutionary for 2002 graphics had become slightly better than average graphics for 2003. Valve had similar issues with the delayed Hl2 fiasco. Of course HL2 was delayed even more than Doom3. Think about how groundbreaking Doom3 would have been in the Fall of 2002.

Justice Done?
By lifeblood on 4/26/2006 12:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the employees will actually get any of the award money. Most of it will probably go to the lawyers and the employees will get a 10% off coupon for the next EA game release.

By Samus on 4/26/2006 2:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
not paying your employee's is about as shadey as it gets.

By redbird242 on 4/26/2006 3:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
I went to EA's campus before during a part time job I had in the past. I must say I found the people there very up beat. The programming area was a totally different story. You go there and you see people who are ridiculously skinny like they haven't gone outside in weeks.

Programmers kinda bring it on themselves, like why the heck would you work those kind of hours. $hit you could start your own bussiness and get money worth it. I never understodd that. Whatever your debt Id rather declare bankrupcy than work 100 hours a week. I mean really just simply dont show up if they yell at you leave. There is nobody forcing them to work there.

I used to be in the computer engineering profession I just don't get why these peopel take the BS they receive. I worked for a week at this unpaid internship they wanted me to do overtime! I quit right there best decision of my life. Start a freakin union. Unbelievable.

Wise decision
By crystal clear on 4/26/2006 10:58:30 AM , Rating: 1
Better to settle for overtime compensation than accept unemployment insurance.Outsoucing get your job done at half the price-Software engineers in Bangalore (India) do it better at half the price.These are facts of life, I see it all over-not that I like it but thats that

By cornfedone on 4/26/2006 4:24:04 PM , Rating: 1 the way they treat their employees and the lewd video games they sell to pimple faced kids.

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