It’s becoming more common for labor complaints to be filed as workers begin to fully understand their rights. A number of these complaints in the last few years have risen from a gaming company violating workers’ rights and the ensuing investigation. In that same vein, a labor complaint has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board against Nintendo and a partnering firm.
First reported by Axios, one part of the complaint claims that Nintendo and one of the firms it uses to hire contractors, Aston Carter, established “coercive rules” in the workplace. An employer may not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise implement rules that interfere with the exercise of any rights the employee has, according to the law (5 U.S. Code § 6385).
More information came out a day after the news of the initial complaint broke. The complaint specifically alleges that the worker was fired due to protesting the terms of their employment, according to the official filing, posted on Twitter via Stephen Totilo. They also allege that the firing was done to discourage others from behaving in the same way.
Nintendo and Aston Carter prohibited the discussion of wages, hours, and job conditions that employees faced while on the job, according to the notice. If true, that would be a violation of a worker’s rights that allow them to speak freely about the job in the workplace.
This is especially notable because there was another complaint filed against Nintendo just a few months ago in April. An employee was fired after they brought up unionization in a company-wide meeting, according to a report from Kotaku. Nintendo denied that allegation, instead saying that the employee was fired for mishandling private information and hadn’t heard about unionization prior.
While these complaints against Nintendo haven’t been resolved, they’ll be investigated by the NLRB. It could take weeks or months before there is an official announcement.
Update Aug. 11 3:39pm CT: This article was updated with new details shared by reporter Stephen Totilo.