Nintendo of America and staffing agent Aston Carter have reached a settlement with a former employee regarding a complaint they filed with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). The settlement follows the initial accusation of Nintendo union-busting which was leveled at it back in April 2022.


The complaint came after a question from the former QA tester during a company meeting regarding unions which, according to them, resulted in their termination soon after. Nintendo of America denies the allegation, claiming that the choice to fire the employee was made after they posted sensitive internal information on social media. The QA tester shot back claiming the information they shared was left intentionally vague, and the post was being used as an excuse to let them go. A second complaint to the NLRB was leveled at both Nintendo of America and Aston Carter in August alleging the companies fired an employee who was engaged in protected activity.

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Now, several months after the initial incident, a settlement between the parties has been reached and a document detailing the agreement made public. The former QA tester, Mackenzie Clifton, will receive $25,910 in damages, back pay, and interest. As well, a notice detailing the rights of QA workers under the National Labor Relations Board must be both disseminated through email and posted on company bulletin boards for the duration of 60 days. Though Clifton originally asked for a letter of apology from Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser, the document makes no mention of it.

Unfortunately for a company that strives for a squeaky clean and family friendly image, this isn’t the only recent scandal Nintendo of America has been at the epicenter of. Female Nintendo of America employees have reported sexual harassment, a toxic working environment, and other inappropriate behavior.

The incident with Clifton is just one chapter in a years-long narrative surrounding the growing desire for game industry employees to unionize and the big companies who want to avoid it, and Nintendo is far from the only embroiled company. The harrowing unionization campaign at Raven Software was reportedly challenged at every turn by owner Activision Blizzard, even going so far as to deny employee raises. Nintendo’s move, though not as harsh, certainly lets the gaming industry know where it stands on the matter.

With the ongoing push for unionization, however, and with reports of underhanded company action continuing to be reported, hope remains that game industry workers will yet get the protection they deserve.

MORE: Why the Skyrim Anniversary Edition Has Been Problematic on Nintendo Switch

Source: Polygon

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