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Beware of BioWare: 2008's EA Spouse or internet anger?


According to a post from the infamous industry insider Surfer Girl, BioWare has been called out as one of the worst employers in the gaming world. Gamewatch.org poster Milez5858 warned forum readers of the horrors of working for the Canadian company, "EA gets a lot of the grief for their employment history. For anyone considering work at Bioware, beware of them as well." Milez5858 later added, "They love out of country workers because they don't understand the Canadaian [sic] labour laws. They continually fire people with out warning. This is illegal in Canada."

So is Milez5858 a jaded employee of the recently acquired Canadian developer? No. In fact he/she claims to be a friend of former employees angered for being dismissed for refusing to work more than 40 hours a week. Soon after lighting the fire from under BioWare on January 25, Milez5858 removed his comments on Gamewatch.org's message boards regarding the company and its practices on February 13 leaving only the disconcerting words, "big scarey [sic] company vs. li'l ol' me." Who knows the truth in this situation, but let's look at the facts.

In Alberta a work week is calculated to 8 hours a day and 44 hours a week. Overtime only begins after a full work week, in this case 44 hours. According the labor laws, employees are entitled to days off based on the days and hours worked but this rule does not apply to all industries. Exceptions include those in the film and video production industry as well as those employed in a confidential capacity which are both arguable as gaming industry positions. Also, according to Alberta law, employees do not have the legal right to refuse overtime hours.

While it's possible a few members of BioWare suffered the Mass Effect deadline crunch and didn't make it out alive (with their jobs, that is) we're going to give the benefit of the doubt to BioWare. We're talking about a company that has been awarded one of the Top 35 Employers in Alberta (Top 100 in Canada) in 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004 by MediaCorp Canada Inc. as well as ranked one of the 10 Best Companies to Work for by The Financial Post in their last annual poll. We're not saying that proves anything but a few cached forum posts wouldn't hold up in court either.

[Via Surfer Girl Reviews Star Wars]

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