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NEWS: Anime Subcontractor Studio Easter Sued for Unpaid Overtime


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yamiangie



Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 465
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Conan OVAs... are hey the ones I have to blame for how bad the Kaitou Kid specials look?
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Tratious



Joined: 03 Feb 2008
Posts: 316
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:05 pm Reply with quote
there is douchebaggery afoot. I hate companies that try to do this crap.
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mewpudding101
Industry Insider


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 2100
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:07 pm Reply with quote
Of course they had to put them on overtime! They had to send them out into the night to find the Embryo, and since Amu and the rest of the Guardians have been getting in the way, it hasn't been as easy as they once thought it would be.


...Apologies for the Shugo Chara reference. But really, I don't like companies that do this kind of under-handed crap.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14620
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:00 pm Reply with quote
I've been saying for a while that Japanese animators are getting screwed by these sleazy middlemen. There's no reason they should be living worse than someone working at McDonalds if I'm hypothetically shelling out a fortune for products like those Garden of Sinners sets.
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bemused Bohemian



Joined: 09 Jun 2009
Posts: 402
Location: central Mizzou (Moral Oralville)
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:33 pm Reply with quote
Been on both sides of the hiring. As a subcontractor there are no easy answers for having total control of any given situation and having everyone be pleased with the results of your efforts. Need more info on this situation to arrive at a satisfactory judgement re who is bad.
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tangytangerine



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 439
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:53 pm Reply with quote
yamiangie wrote:
Conan OVAs... are hey the ones I have to blame for how bad the Kaitou Kid specials look?


No, that would be TMS. Looking at the stuff they did, it looks like it's mostly background stuff(including the Conan OVAs).

Seeing this makes me wonder how much of this stuff happens in the anime industry. We all know it happens time to time in the video game industry(EA & Activision are the most notorious ones). Don't really hear about it happening much with companies involved with anime though.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:53 pm Reply with quote
Trying to see where the $100,000+ comes from.

Seven hours a week times 52 weeks times is just above 350 hours of work. Even after 10 years that's only around 3500 hours of work.

Seeing how anime is one of the lowest paying industries in Japan, whose salaries are already quite a bit lower than their US equivalents, I really can't see this. I do think the overtime money should be compensated, but I get annoyed when people sue for more money than they are owed. Just trying to take advantage via lawsuit.
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partially



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 702
Location: Oz
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:37 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Trying to see where the $100,000+ comes from.

Seven hours a week times 52 weeks times is just above 350 hours of work. Even after 10 years that's only around 3500 hours of work.

Seeing how anime is one of the lowest paying industries in Japan, whose salaries are already quite a bit lower than their US equivalents, I really can't see this. I do think the overtime money should be compensated, but I get annoyed when people sue for more money than they are owed. Just trying to take advantage via lawsuit.


Well I am not to sure about the Japanese situation, but do remember overtime is usually double or triple rates depending on when they are working. So that brings the calculations down a bit. Although I assume they were at least paid standard rates for their work, so hmmm. Still it means they have been not paid for overtime for a long time. Makes you wonder why they are coming forward now.
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taco123



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:53 pm Reply with quote
Well, while I'm sure the employees produced high quality work, they didn't need to work overtime. They were only told to meet the deadline and it was their choice to go at a pace at which they wouldn't meet it in time. And so, they worked overtime and expect compensation for being slow.

In business, you have to meet strict deadlines or you're fired. If those deadlines aren't humanly possible for you, then quit. If you can meet those deadlines but your quality of work would be significantly lower, then turn in your work and talk to your manager about having extended deadlines. Just don't be slow and burden yourself with working extra hours and expect the company to pay you on terms they never agreed to.
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Ko Ransom



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:00 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Trying to see where the $100,000+ comes from.

Seven hours a week times 52 weeks times is just above 350 hours of work. Even after 10 years that's only around 3500 hours of work.

Seeing how anime is one of the lowest paying industries in Japan, whose salaries are already quite a bit lower than their US equivalents, I really can't see this. I do think the overtime money should be compensated, but I get annoyed when people sue for more money than they are owed. Just trying to take advantage via lawsuit.


Thank you for pointing this out - after another look over the original article, we've corrected the amount of overtime the employees are stating they were made to work (6 day weeks, 7 hours of overtime a day multiple days in a row when deadlines were approaching).
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:22 pm Reply with quote
taco123 wrote:
Well, while I'm sure the employees produced high quality work, they didn't need to work overtime. They were only told to meet the deadline and it was their choice to go at a pace at which they wouldn't meet it in time. And so, they worked overtime and expect compensation for being slow.

In business, you have to meet strict deadlines or you're fired. If those deadlines aren't humanly possible for you, then quit. If you can meet those deadlines but your quality of work would be significantly lower, then turn in your work and talk to your manager about having extended deadlines. Just don't be slow and burden yourself with working extra hours and expect the company to pay you on terms they never agreed to.


The article was quite specific. They were made to work 7 hours of overtime a day, for multiple days. There was no choice, unless you want to be fired for not being a team player.

Normally, salaried workers have to suck it up on overtime. If they were working an 8 hour day, then with overtime you are working a 15 hour day several times a week. But if they are working 12 hour days normally, well you do the math.

They may have a case, 7 hours of daily overtime, is almost like a second shift of work. That is beyond even normal overtime, going into slave labor.

It is so funny to see people bandying about claims, that they can just quit. ANN cast was just talking about how bad the anime industry is over in Japan, so it is quite obvious to see that quitting your job would be the kiss of death to working in the industry ever again. Though this law suit is probably a kiss of death too.

Not to mention how bad the job market is over here to.
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reanimator





PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:32 pm Reply with quote
The lawsuit is bound happen eventually. This is the decades-old problem that industry has ignored.

It seems like Japanese studios are still out of touch with recent labor laws passed in Japan. Also, new generation of Japanese workers have different mindset on labor and its reward than previous generation.

Winning contract to keep the company afloat is nice. but employer cannot be ignorant about labor laws and payroll. They should be grateful that someone is trying to succeed their craft when the majority of people shuns their work.

Older generation didn't care much about higher standard of living as young animation artist because their works were simple and they never expected much. They maintained that mindset throughout their career and to new generation. One reason why anime industry has not shaken off the ill-reputation as poor employer in Japan.

Younger generation are willing to accept the same work ethic as older ones, but they want better life in return for the expected high quality work. This is the generational conflict which overtime lawsuit is based from.

Pushing overtime due to high workload with expected high quality standard at short time is not practical. That being said, the blame goes to art director and director of the film or TV, who have set ridiculous quality standard that people can't pull off day-in and day-out. Less experienced the workers, it's expected them to be slow at their skill level. Even if those workers are experienced, the current Japanese animation labor system is not set up to help these people to make decent living. Even worse, they have been turning blind eyes and ears to these dire situations and it finally blew up in their face.

It's time for Japanese animation industry to realized that they can't run business as usual, which is 1970's standard.
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NotintheMood



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:01 pm Reply with quote
taco123 wrote:
Well, while I'm sure the employees produced high quality work, they didn't need to work overtime. They were only told to meet the deadline and it was their choice to go at a pace at which they wouldn't meet it in time. And so, they worked overtime and expect compensation for being slow.

In business, you have to meet strict deadlines or you're fired. If those deadlines aren't humanly possible for you, then quit. If you can meet those deadlines but your quality of work would be significantly lower, then turn in your work and talk to your manager about having extended deadlines. Just don't be slow and burden yourself with working extra hours and expect the company to pay you on terms they never agreed to.


They expect compensation for time worked. In most businesses you can't legally cut compensation due to productivity issues.

"Being slow" is not a justifiable reason to not pay overtime. It might be a reason to look for a replacement employee or a good reason to do some root cause analysis and see if you can figure out why your employees were not able to meet the deadlines set for them. Considering that this was group of employees, it's probably a systemic problem rather than a case of a bad apple.

Ultimately it is the companies responsibility to set reasonable guidelines and standards to prevent overtime. And that didn't happen here; instead they pushed their employees into working as much as was needed to make deadlines and they expected the employees to cover the difference.

Lawsuits are time consuming, expensive and a pain in the butt. But if they had managed their employees better this wouldn't have happened.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3717
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:09 pm Reply with quote
@Megiddo

Aside from the aforementioned of paying more than the usual amount for overtime, the company also cut their salaries after they complained.
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Teriyaki Terrier



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 5689
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:31 pm Reply with quote
On one hand, I see where the employees are coming and on the other, I can see where the company is coming from as well.

Unpaid overtime shouldn't technically exist, but because this the animation industry, it's fairly typical a 9-5 schedule won't exist. However, while this won't pay the bills, the fact your actually working in industry might just be good enough for some. As finding a way into the industry is very, very challenging and isn't just a field anyone can go into with tremendous ease.

However finding a way out is super easy and can happen at any time. Suing, is a great way to basically black list your self though.
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