GameStop slapped with workers' rights suit

Former employee claims gaming retailer violated labor laws by not paying staff for time spent undergoing security checks.

GameStop's practice of conducting mandatory security checks on employees when they take breaks or finish a shift has the specialty retailer facing legal action. However, the heart of the lawsuit isn't about violations of privacy or dignity; it's about the employees not being paid for the time the checks take up.

If employees are going to be probed for stolen goods, they at least want to be paid for it.

The class-action suit, which surfaced this week in the Superior Court of California's online database, was brought by a former GameStop employee on behalf of all individuals employed on an hourly basis who have worked for the retailer from June 21, 2010, to present.

The thrust of the allegations is that GameStop has failed to provide employees with uninterrupted, unrestricted breaks for meals and rest periods. According to California law, employers must afford employees a 30-minute meal break per five hours worked as well as a 10-minute rest break per four-hour shift.

The allegations are rooted in GameStop's policy of conducting mandatory security checks of employees when they take meals or breaks. According to the complaint, hourly employees are not compensated for time spent undergoing these security checks.

The suit also makes a handful of other allegations stemming from uncompensated time spent undergoing security checks. These allegations state that GameStop has failed to adequately compensate employees for work shifts that exceed eight hours, as well as not providing accurately itemized wage statements.

In addition to seeking class status, the suit is seeking an hour's worth of pay for each day in which adequate meal and rest breaks were not provided, as per California law. The suit also seeks any other damages determined by the Court.

GameStop had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

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Discussion

137 comments
narial
narial

although gamespot only focused on the pocket checks, this is a tiny part of the lawsuit. the full thing can be read here. http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/11/29/gamestop.pdf the lack of breaks, poper coverage for meal periods etc. are the core of the lawsuit and as an employee of the companyi can tell you - the company will lose this one. badly.

Kelvryn
Kelvryn

I don't do business with Gamestop and will go out of my way to explain to people why they shouldn't shop at Gamestop.

csward
csward

So the employee thieves will just hide the merch in their undergarments. I mean really, show your employees some trust, give them more than 12 hours a week, don't work management like slaves, and pay them more than minimum wage. They might just reduce theft that way...hmmm Gamestop's business model is bad and pretty soon I can see them selling cell phones like Radioshack to stay in business.

Bigbudd0045
Bigbudd0045

@starrykels GS Managers dont make much, they make more than 9 dollars an hour, but not a lot more. My friend was a GS manager, they work the hell out of them since they dont have to pay them overtime.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

As a previous employee, I must point out that working at GameStop is one of the easiest jobs on earth. Now, the security check is pretty ridiculous. It's smart to have it in place, but it's ridiculous. On a busy day, any customer can walk out of the store with hundreds of dollars in merchandise and never be seen by a camera. This was very true for both the stores I worked in. Now, back to the security checks. My stores were insanely busy every single day and after clocking out for anything, be it a break, lunch, leaving for the day, I would wait at least five minutes before another associate was able to check my pockets, ankles, jacket and messenger bag. I didn't drive at the time, so I carried more then anyone else at my stores and felt it was more necessary for me to be checked, since I could potentially be a "main target" if anything went missing. There were times when I've waited thirty minutes plus, because the store was packed and only two people were working. I worked three, four hour shifts a week. Add up ten minutes a day for every day I worked, over a year period. Thirty minutes a week, 120 minutes a month, 1440 minutes a year. So, 24 hours was spent strictly on security for a single part-time employee. I also used the bare minimum of work and security time. There were times that I worked six days in a row.

mario-galaxys
mario-galaxys

I just wish that GameSpot provided a link to the lawsuit filing as there are many labor lawsuits.

Funkmeisterchen
Funkmeisterchen

I've worked at Gamestop for 6 years, Keyholder and not. Some of this is true, some isn't. The "Security checks" are emptying your pockets, that's about it. It's irritating, and stupid, but it's not super inconvenient, The pay rate, hours, and everything else about it? Terrible. I lost my $2 promotion raise due to minimum wage being increased, I didn't get extra pay for working straight through the night, Midnight -830AM on Black Friday. Employees are treated worse than customers. And for the record, not everyone who works at GameStop wants to sell you any badgame and knows nothing about games. I will advise against a bad game as much as I can, but in the end if someone wants a bad game...they will get a bad game. Just 2c from a GS employee.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Big surprise. :roll: And did you know, Hitler was evil? :P

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

Suck it GameStop. Hate these blood sucking Corps like them and Walmart. Almost don't care whether its true or not as long as someone gives them a kick in the a**.

starrykels
starrykels

my husband works for GS and the number of different titles/positions they have is ridiculous..such an obvious attempt to get top shelf work out of people w/o having to put them on salary or pay them benefits...a "keyholder" has alarm codes, keys, and opens and closes the store including all cash reconciliation, but makes less than $9 an hour?! what are the salaried mgrs making who perform the same daly functions? something very shady about the GS 4 sho!

kinstar2002
kinstar2002

Gamestop is ridiculous, every store i've gone too they hire people that don't know much about video games coming out or history about it and I always think "If I worked here, I'd know my stuff about games for other platforms" smh. Gamestop is just a corporation that tries too hard to get the consumer to come to their store, unfortunately it works :/

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

From what I read, security checks from former workers are scary. Are cameras not reliable or functioning for this? I never heard any of this, the first time I hear it. This kind of thing is never heard at malls

mrsniper83
mrsniper83

I have always had good service at gamestops for years, but I have always known that they don't treat the people that work there fair.I knew someone that worked there and said that besides the low pay they are really bad about how they treat employess.

DarthVeng_basic
DarthVeng_basic

@Phil-teh-Pirate: I wont lie. If selling something means I have to lie, then I wont sell it. Our society is based on lies and it disgusts me.

luc11044
luc11044

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

IonBlaster4
IonBlaster4

@phillkillv2 Have you ever checked for a GamerDoc in your location? They have only about 40 stores, 1 in Canada and 1 in Guam, rest are in the US. I know its not really local or anything, but its better than GameStop.

simon_levane
simon_levane

I live in Texas and I worked for GameStop. The security checks should be an embarassment for the company. Really. Why should you treat your employees as suspicous criminals?

singhellotaku
singhellotaku

Awesome, the faster we can kill gamestop the better

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

I have to say, these security checks really aren't that bad and only take a few seconds. It's when they do the cavity searches that I really hate. However it's not as painful getting f***ed by Activision. *Ba dump ching!*

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

EvilDante666
EvilDante666

@Whisperblue- I don't necessarily agree with mandatory searches at your place of employment, however there is several things that should be noted. One- the suit isn't about the searches in of itself, it's about being paid during the search. Two, over 75% of theft in retail is actually an internal issue as opposed to customers. Third, when someone is hired by Gamestop, the hiree is made well aware of the fact that there is mandatory searches. Like I said, I don't agree with it, but I do understand. It just needs to be done fairly.

Whisperblue
Whisperblue

I am truly amazed how nobody questions the fact that people --THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES-- is being checked after work like if they were criminals on parole or something. I would never allow that kind of denigratory act done to me. Where is your dignity for christ sake? Is this America standar or is just this evil 7th-circle-of-Hell company?

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@DarthVeng_basic How are you going to sell anything or work anywhere if you can't lie? Marketing is all based on lies "Buy our cream and this is what you COULD look like" "Wear these shoes and you COULD be a great basketball player". Gamestop just happens to employ people who lie AND know fudge all about games.

DarthVeng_basic
DarthVeng_basic

GS employee's lie and fake interest in things just to sell you products, That is why I could never work there. I am not lying to people just to rip them off, our Government and Wall Street have done quite enough of that.

nevryn
nevryn

@mjc0961 Try learning how class action suits really work first, "kthx". @StJimmy15 You cannot actually sue someone for damages toward someone unrelated to you. Therefore, in order to form a class action lawsuit, a lawyer must find a claimant. Just because a lawsuit is "filed" by a former employee does not actually mean it was that employee's idea. Almost inevitably, the former employee was approached by a lawyer first. It is extremely common, and happens much more often than people realize. I've worked as a consultant to a legal department at a university prior to finishing my degree, and we received notice of this happening at least twice a semester, where an employee would be approached by a law firm trying to make a quick buck. Either that, or it is some former employee who just happened to take the job while in law school and came up with the idea.

lurkyuk
lurkyuk

It only takes 30 seconds if its just one person being checked. At my work place (not GameStop) when 20 of us leave there's usually only one person checking everyone so if you're stuck at the back you can be waiting 4/5 minutes to get out. If you've already clocked out why should you be expected to stay without being paid?

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

We need a new Gaming corporation in the US besides Gamestop. Their eployees are like programmed robots to say the same things whenever a customer comes in they say "How is it going ?" then when you check out they ask you if you want to sign up for some Bs you have no clue about. I want to have a good authentic feeling when I walk into a gaming store. I want people that know their facts about the games your buying. I've even had Gamestop people make up completely random release dates. Anyways . I hate the store but it's kind of like a monopoly in the gaming business and in terms of game stores.

narial
narial

those saying the check must be really short dont work at gamestop. often you've clocked out. got your stuff. open up al your bags turn your pockets inside out and now - you wait. because the only other employee is busy with a customer. so you frequently can wait up to 5 minutes or more.

narial
narial

people calling this stupidity dont work in california. per california law you are supposed to be afforded a 10 minute break for every 4 hours of work. restroom breaks dont apply. this can not be a 'working' break. however those of us who work at gamestop frequently have to work 5 hours at a time completely alone in the store. in california this is illegal and it's about time someone took action over it. working conditions especially for management at this company are horrible. they abuse the hell out of managers here.

toddx77
toddx77

This stupidity doesn't surprise me. Gamestop hires some real stupid people. Everytime I would go in there and ask if I could pre order raccoon city they would always be like "ya you can pre order arkham city" and its not like i even just said raccoon city. I would say "can i pre order resident evil raccoon city" and they would say "yes you can pre order arkham city" Then when I asked to pre order zelda skyward sword a the guy said "for which system"

JusticeFromSeed
JusticeFromSeed

It's annoying... but not that annoying. I worked for them for 4+ years and those checks literally take 30 seconds. Empty pockets, turn them inside out, lift pants off ankles (so you can see socks), spin around (we called it the pants dance), then refill pockets. I'd hop on this band wagon... but I left on good terms with great recommendations. As young as I am, sorry, but an extra hundred bucks or two isn't worth potentially losing a reference at my age (20). The portion about timesheets and compensations is spot on, however. Much agreed, @ZeroX91 . I was part time, so it impacted me rarely enough I was able to get it straightened out, but our full time peeps weren't always so lucky.

Thing1232
Thing1232

Can't say that I blame Gamestop for doing this given that a lot of merchandise was stolen at one of the Gamestops near me. It's been a couple years and they still don't have the computers updated. (whether that's lazy workers or not idk) But there's no doubt Gamestop went about doing this the wrong way.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

The security checks are tedious, but that's not really a justification this is the important part, "GameStop has failed to adequately compensate employees for work shifts that exceed eight hours, as well as not providing accurately itemized wage statements. " I cant count the number of times I didn't get my overtime or the timesheet was flat out wrong.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

I can see the help wanted sign going up after this.

s0l1dsnake
s0l1dsnake

There's no way that those checks can last any significant amount of time to make this case viable, a check lasts what? 15 seconds maybe less. It's frivolous

Darth_Starwind
Darth_Starwind

@strayfies Hey genius, go back and read the article again. They're not talking about right to search employees. This person wants to be paid for the time it takes to do the search. (And for the record, I think this lawsuit is stupid.)

jamesm7786
jamesm7786

Resell values at GameStop are bound to decrease more after this...

shantd
shantd

How long could a search like that possibly take? 15 seconds? I can only imagine this employee was wronged by management in some way and this is his recourse. This is ridiculous, we live in a sue-happy country. The only one who will come out ahead here is the lawyer. Pathetic.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

i remember when I was young wanting a job at EB so badly. Now I'm glad they never called me back.

norman_99
norman_99

I work at Gamestop and find this whole thing to be ridiculous. The security checks in question take all of 5-6 seconds to show that nothing is in your pockets and that nothing is hidden in your shoes, and these checks are only done when leaving the store, so if you brought your lunch to work and have no reason to leave the break room, then there is no need for a security check until you clock out to leave. This whole case sounds like someone attempting to take advantage of some sort of legal loop-hole rather than a legitimate complaint about company policy.

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

@MGSKojima Not necessarily. There are some nice companies that sell games, there just all supercenters...

strayfies
strayfies

Finally, I've been saying it for years that it's illegal. They can't forcibly search your person without expressed consent, not including the signing of employment contracts. This is old case law, going back to union politics in the 70s.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Sounds like some store employees are pissed because they could not steal games freely from the store!

dirwulf
dirwulf

A similar thing happened to Blockbuster when I worked there. California has very strict laws about this. Gamestop will lose this for sure. In the Blockbuster case, the computers automatically logged us out of the clock at midnight, and we had to log back in. Sometimes that took a minute or two, you were still working, but not being compensated. Over a years time, that does add up.

Shadow4020
Shadow4020

I'm not surprised, GameStop is one of the cheapest companies.

Triton
Triton

It's an employers market. 15 million other folks would love to have these jobs, you really have to suck it up for the time being. It will come back around...one of these days...I hope!

anonimitie
anonimitie

One more reason not to shop at Gamestop.

KeleenRem
KeleenRem

I never liked Gamestop... That's why I always frequent their website and read their reviews.