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Activision faces class action lawsuit

Software publisher Activision is at the centre of a class action lawsuit, a former employee suing the firm for failure to pay overtime compensation as required by California law.

Software publisher Activision is at the centre of a class action lawsuit, with a former employee suing the firm for failure to pay overtime compensation as required by California law.

The case was filed by law firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP of Boston, Massachusetts, on behalf of an employee who worked for the publisher between 2001 and 2004 as an animator on titles including True Crime: Streets of LA.

The lawsuit alleges that Activision unlawfully classifies its Computer Graphics employees as exempt from California's laws requiring overtime pay. Shapiro Haber and Urmy partner, Thomas Urmy, commented: "Activision's Computer Graphics employees, who work many overtime hours to produce Activision's profitable videogames, fully deserve to be paid all the overtime compensation to which they are entitled under the law."

Urmy also noted that this latest case is just one of several similar class action lawsuits in the videogames industry, the firm recently settling a USD 14.9 million class action against Electronic Arts in addition to two previous cases against the publisher. A further case against Sony Computer Entertainment is also currently pending.

"Excessive overtime is endemic in the videogame industry, but we hope that this and other lawsuits will spur major changes in the way employers treat their employees," Urmy added.

In the case against Activision, the plaintiff is seeking an award for unpaid wages, penalties and punitive damages to current and former employees who were wrongfully denied overtime pay, and the law firm has established two websites (one for this and another for the Sony lawsuit) for "people who want to participate in or assist with the lawsuits."

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