Misled Intern Sues Sony, Earns What He Deserves

Sony uses an intern to do the dirty work and gets sued--totally could have been avoided.

Recently an intern at Sony sued the company--and won. Instead of shadowing a staff developer as intended, the intern was actually ordered to test games each day, which is not as fun as it may sound. When he was not compensated for his work, he went to the UK authorities and opened up a lawsuit, winning £4,600 in the end and keeping his rights to speak out against the major publisher.

25-year-old Chris Jarvis realized that he was being taken advantage of and requested at least minimum wage for his services. Jarvis reported working from 9:30am to 6:00pm for three months QAing games--finding and replicating bugs, filling out detailed reports, etc. Jarvis thinks that he, doing the work he was, should have made at least £100 per day.

One of the key components to his win was the fact that only "a charity, a voluntary organization, an associated fund-raising body, or a statutory body" could hire a volunteer for no pay, while commercial companies (especially one as large as Sony) are obligated to pay at least minimum wage to voluntary workers. 

Jarvis initially demanded £3,600, but Sony forked over £1,000 more and hoped he would sign a gag order to prevent Jarvis from speaking of his experience with the company. He refused and Sony still settled. 

It is a classic case of the abuse of power. I say good for Jarvis for realizing the value of his time. The next time you feel you are being taken advantage of, understand your value and stand up for it. 

What do you think about this debacle? Share your thoughts below!

Published Sep. 8th 2013
  • Chris Jarvis
    I was not ordered to test game, I was aware I would be using 3D environment art skills. I worked on intergrating game assets, not QA
  • Mech-Phree_1557
    Featured Contributor
    Sony was trying to pull the "well you technically are a volunteer...." thing. I look at this as an isolated incident, some manager or some one in H.R thought they could pull one over. But if you take a few seconds at labor laws you know you can't hire some one to work for a FOR-profit company for free.

    Although those laws I believe are not the same for U.S and I highly doubt he would have succeeded with his case if he was over here.
  • MirandaCB
    I agree, at least not for three months!
  • Alexa Serrano
    I read an article a few months ago on raising minimum wage. People were complaining saying that instead of raising it, they should look into paying interns for the work they do. They said that that needs to be resolved before minimum wage is raised or looked into. So anyway, it was interested to read your article, since it is similar to the issue that is going on.
  • MirandaCB
    There has been a lot of commotion about minimum wage on a few fronts. Maybe these stirrings mean something may change sometime in the future. Thanks. :)

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