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A saga of several months concludes today, with Nintendo of America and partnered contracting firm Aston Carter reaching a settlement with fired QA tester Mackenzie Clifton. Clifton issued a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board back in April, alleging that they were let go from the company for asking a question about unions in a Q&A with NoA President Doug Bowser, though NoA counterclaimed that they were discharged for revealing confidential info (which Clifton claims was an extremely vague tweet about nothing). Now the two parties have reached an out-of-court settlement agreement.

Aston Carter is taking liability for the complaint and will pay Clifton $25,910 in damages, back pay, and interest. Nintendo must also post a notice both by email and in the office informing QA workers of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which includes the right to organize a union, the right to choose a representative to collectively bargain with employers, and the right to act in concert with other employees for benefit and protection. This document must be posted for 60 consecutive days.

Clifton demanded an apology letter straight from Doug Bowser last month, which was counter-offered with a chance to talk to HR, but whatever point the two sides ended up at they appeared to be able to hash it out. Notably, the resolution of this complaint does not resolve the matter of a second complaint issued in August, nor does it signal that things will get better for the “second-class citizens” who work as contractors at the company. Nintendo may try to ease conditions ever so slightly to avoid bad PR, but it’s likely that the only way the systemic issue is tackled head on is if the settlement spurs those at the company to unionization efforts.

Nintendo offered comment on the story to Polygon:


Nintendo is thankful that a resolution was reached in the NLRB matter so that we can continue to focus on ensuring that our working environment remains welcoming and supportive for all our employees and associates. That approach is fundamental to our company values. As part of the public settlement all parties remain obligated not to disclose Nintendo’s confidential business information and trade secrets, which are paramount to our development process and product offerings.


So Nintendo has to let people know about unions, and Clifton can’t disclose any trade secrets. Not a particularly surprising settlement, though we’ll have to see what results of the case’s conclusion.



Source: FOIA Online


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.