Electronic Arts has succeeded brilliantly in squeezing the most out of their talented workers. According to a livejournal post by an EA Spouse, her significant other is forced to work an 85 hour week with no overtime and no compensatory time.
Some of my earlier employers would be consumed with envy at the EA strategy. The best they ever managed was to get us to work 75 hours a week in times of dire need and they almost always gave us comp time and bonuses.
In fact, the only threat they ever used on us simple-minded engineers was to suggest that we would not get the next juicy assignment if we didn’t finish up the current assignment immediately.
We were so eager to get working on the next big breakthrough, that
we spent years working through weekends and holidays so we wouldn’t
miss out on the next big challenge. Duh! It took me two broken
marriages before I realized that my addiction was costing me my home
EA has carried this entreprenurial strategy beyond its logical
limit. In this era of bloggers, that is an unwise practice. The
original LiveJournal post had 2528 comments without a single comment
denying the truth of her statements. As one anonymous responder put it,
"White-collar slavery is alive and well in the games industry."
It looks like the time of reckoning may have come for EA.
Ed Frauenheim, a staff writer at CNET News.com, writes about a class
action suit being filed against game-publishing giant Electronic Arts
for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages.
Attorney Robert Schubert, partner at San Francisco law firm Schubert
& Reed, said he has initiated legal proceedings to start a class
action lawsuit on behalf of a group of EA employees. "We are seeking
unpaid overtime for a good number of (EA) employees who weren’t
(properly) paid," Schubert said. "EA contends they were exempt. We
It sounds like there is some uncertainty as to what constitutes an exempt employee. You might want to check it out for yourself.