Electronic Arts Pays Up

Leading game publisher Electronic Arts has agreed to a settlement stipulating that it will pay $15.6M to the plaintiffs and their attorneys involved in the lawsuit claiming that EA violated labor laws. Last July, EA employee Jamie Kirshenbaum and approximately 200 of his colleagues stated that the company "improperly classified some of its employees, including 'animators,' 'modelers,' 'texture artists,' 'lighters,' 'background effects artists,' and 'environmental artists' as exempt from overtime, and therefore failed to pay those employees overtime compensation." The terms of the settlement only apply to the specific plaintiffs, and is not necessarily indicative of a complete shift in EA policy. EA's head of human resources noted that the affected employees are no longer eligible for stock options or bonuses. A similar lawsuit is currently underway by a group of EA programmers.

The settlement comes as the latest major development in an ongoing outcry against EA's labor practices which many see as personified by ea_spouse's infamous blog post.