This will be interesting to watch.
LOS ANGELES, June 29 (Reuters) - A video game programmer has sued the games arm of French media and telecoms company Vivendi Universal (V.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , claiming he and his colleagues were regularly forced to work extra hours and denied overtime pay.
The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, is one of many filed against companies in the state in recent months, as employees seek to be classified as overtime-eligible to obtain compensation for working more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
The games industry is well known for its periods of "crunch time," where programmers are called on to work long hours for weeks on end to finish games on time.
and my personal thoughts on this...
I doubt the guy has any chance. I'm told there are labour laws in California (and other places) that cover 'primarily intellectual' jobs which put them outside the overtime laws if they are salaried positions. The same kind of thing applies to management.
Still, you can't blame the guy for trying...
Perhaps he will argue that he was threatened with dismissal if he didnt work the overtime or something like that which might go further than simply not being paid per hour.
quote:Originally posted by TheBigJ
The article also says that VUG managers forced employees to falsify timesheets in order to prevent records of overtime. I would imagine that will greatly help his case; VU seems to be ignoring the fact that these employees were working overtime at all, not just refusing to pay for it.
If thats true then I hope he wins. It's one thing to have a job with no paid overtime (most of us) - but it's another to be eligible and to have your work records falsified.
There's a discussion on [url="http://games.slashdot.org/games/04/06/30/1558238.shtml?tid=127&tid=186&…"]Slashdot on it[/url] too...
This quote from the reuters article has me intrigued...
quote:"According to the suit, Neil Aitken has been an "application programmer" at the company since February 2000, paid bimonthly on a 40-hour-a-week schedule though he said he and his colleagues regularly work more than 12 hours a day."
4 years is an awfully long time to be screwed over on overtime! What's the law on overtime in Australia actually? I know employers can give unpaid overtime with employees on a salary, but can you get some renumeration on overtime that lasts for months and months?
Anyway, it's interesting to read about game industry related court cases such as this, it's definately highlighting the shoddier practises that's happening.. There was that other case in Canada (I think) where a contract clause forbid employees leaving and working in the same industry for 3 months, and also Interplay not paying employees their wages, not giving them the required workers compensation insurance etc.
Weren't Vivendi under investigation for fixing their accounting details ala Enron a while ago?
quote:Weren't Vivendi under investigation for fixing their accounting details ala Enron a while ago?
Yes. In fact, VU has been in the media spotlight quite a bit lately also: [url]http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/21/world/main625007.shtml[/url]
quote:Originally posted by Daemin
I would like to think that if we are forced as programmers or other developers to work overtime before a milestone that we could at least be renumerated through a party or large lan or something after the milestone had been completed. Work overtime not all the time, but just before milestones.
And of course, if you worked *less* than 40 hours per week for the rest of the year you'd reward your employer - right ? :-)
Timekeeping is a double edged sword...
If I worked less than 40 hours per week for the rest of the year I would expect to be fired!
Overtime is okay if its necessary and over a short period (I'm talking crunch time like overtime, not like 1/2 an hour here or there). However having crunchtime overtime for months on end is: (a) A sure sign that the project is in the state of disaster, and (b) the people doing the overtime aren't going to be very happy...