Electronic Arts settles in overtime lawsuit

Electronic Arts is scheduled to pay a settlement of $14.9 million to a number of its employees for unpaid overtime. A group of software engineers sued the company due over its reported policy of making personnel work from 65 to 85 hours per week without extra compensation. Along with the settlement, E.A. has also reclassified some of the engineers as "hourly workers" to allow them to receive payment for overtime, although they will now no longer be eligible for stock options or bonuses. Last year, the company also reclassified 450 employees as a result of another overtime lawsuit, and rescheduled deadlines from Mondays to Fridays in its Los Angeles studio in order to cut weeks down to five working days. An EA spokeswoman had this to say about the changes:
In the past two years, we've looked at the old way of managing. Crunch time wasn't working. We took progressive steps to address those issues. Our priority is to fairly compensate people for their work. We're going to continue to do things to make people successful and be an attractive employer and a strong competitor.
E.A. isn't the only company facing those problems, either; a number of lawsuits have also been filed against Vivendi Universal Games and Sony Computer Entertainment America for similar unpaid overtime charges. In those instances, E.A.'s victory bodes well for the disgruntled employees. Thanks to The Inquirer for the link.
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