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Halo theme composer Marty O

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Halo theme composer Marty O?Donnell suing Bungie

Friday, 6th June 2014 21:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

 

Halo theme composer Marty O?Donnell, who claimed in April he was terminated by Bungie?s board of directors without cause, has filed suit against the developer for unpaid benefits.

 

mchalo1.jpg

According to the lawsuit filed against Bungie CEO Harold Ryan on May 1, O?Donnell claims Bungie failed to compensate him for ?unused vacation time, paid time off, and other benefits,? according to VentureBeat.

 

?Ryan has caused Bungie to violate applicable law and the Company?s policies and practices regarding payment of O?Donnell?s accrued but unpaid vacation time, paid time off, sabbatical time, and other benefits,? according to the filing.

 

The filing also states Bungie has a policy in place which pays employees the aforementioned benefits, and which Ryan and Bungie reportedly promised to pay. O?Donnell is asking for double damages, as there are ?other grievances against Bungie and Ryan,? which are not noted in the currently available documents.

 

A response by Bungie and Ryan was filed on May 27 denying O?Donnell was due any benefits not already received.

 

O?Donnell was fired on April 11 as Bungie?s audio director after working for the firm since May 2000.

 

http://www.vg247.com/2014/06/06/halo-theme-composer-suing-bungie/

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If that was part of his employment contract I dunno how they expect to side-step it. It's still too bad they got rid of him.

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When ever I think his name, all I think of is

 

ooooooooooooooh ooooooooooooooooooh ooooooooooooooh ooooooooooooooh oooooooooooooh (That's me singing the halo theme!)

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I don't understand why someone who's secured a new job and has probably plenty of current income would sue their previous employer for something like this. Is he not satisfied with his current financial position or does he just have a lot of time to spare? (this coming from someone who was screwed out of money in a previous job)

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I don't understand why someone who's secured a new job and has probably plenty of current income would sue their previous employer for something like this. Is he not satisfied with his current financial position or does he just have a lot of time to spare? (this coming from someone who was screwed out of money in a previous job)

 

Because he is entitled to something that was never fulfilled? Itagaki and others have done the same over the years.

 

His job status / finances have nothing to do with Bungie breaking the terms of the contract.

 

Not surprising he has done it when they left on bad terms and considering all the work / success he has brought them over the years. Marty's music defines Halo's OST.

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Because he is entitled to something that was never fulfilled? Itagaki and others have done the same over the years.

 

His job status / finances have nothing to do with Bungie breaking the terms of the contract.

 

Not surprising he has done it when they left on bad terms and considering all the work / success he has brought them over the years. Marty's music defines Halo's OST.

 

That assumes they did.

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When ever I think his name, all I think of is

 

ooooooooooooooh ooooooooooooooooooh ooooooooooooooh ooooooooooooooh oooooooooooooh (That's me singing the halo theme!)

 

You need to add the sound of rumbling thunder/explosions in the distance to that.

 

As for Marty, I have no idea what the actual situation is, but it seems fishy and my gut instinct is to side with him. His firing came out of nowhere and Bungie have not provided any reason why he was "terminated". There are laws for this, thankfully we are no longer in the 10th century. Companies and employers are not doing anyone a favor, it's a mutual exchange.

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You need to add the sound of rumbling thunder/explosions in the distance to that.

 

As for Marty, I have no idea what the actual situation is, but it seems fishy and my gut instinct is to side with him. His firing came out of nowhere and Bungie have not provided any reason why he was "terminated". There are laws for this, thankfully we are no longer in the 10th century. Companies and employers are not doing anyone a favor, it's a mutual exchange.

 

There are also laws for terminating employment without notice (At-Will Employment). So if he signed a contract which entailed that then he may not have a real law suit. Still, iirc it was rumored he was fired for demanding a raise the company didn't want to give him. Perfectly justifiable firing if he was creating drama over it, too. And now he's suing about it... seems like we may have a drama queen.

I like Marty, and his work with Halo. But I think there's more to the story and I'm not going to side with either of them till the truth comes out.

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Is he going to work with Microsoft now and do music for Halo 5?

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Is he going to work with Microsoft now and do music for Halo 5?

 

Hopefully, now that he has no ties to Bungie. Maybe he has a cooling period, who knows the details. At any rate, if he joins MS that would be great - he is the sound of the Halo franchise and it's Bungie's loss.

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Is he going to work with Microsoft now and do music for Halo 5?

Kazuma Jinnouchi is already doing the music for Halo 5. 

 

Unless he seriously screws up in the next few months or 343 do a 180, H5 won't have Marty. H6 on the other hand might, especially if the reviews criticise the music like they did for H4. 

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I don't understand why someone who's secured a new job and has probably plenty of current income would sue their previous employer for something like this. Is he not satisfied with his current financial position or does he just have a lot of time to spare? (this coming from someone who was screwed out of money in a previous job)

Its the principle of it.  He was terminated without cause and wasn't even compensated for the rest of the time he worked there, plus the cost of any legal fees too.  I hope he wins the case.

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Its the principle of it.  He was terminated without cause and wasn't even compensated for the rest of the time he worked there, plus the cost of any legal fees too.  I hope he wins the case.

 

That may not be the case, I've already linked there are contracts where termination can be without notice or reason (unless of course those undisclosed reasons are against the law) called At-Will Employment. If he was under At-Will he probably doesn't deserve any compensation.

 

"At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning.[1] When an employee is acknowledged as being hired "at will", courts deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal."

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To be fair you should have posted this map as well, from the same Wiki article

 

959px-At-will_employment_-_public_policy

 

Most states effectively do not recognize at will employment, and only tolerate it as a relic of days when it was common thinking that you were "lucky to have a job". Good we've moved on from that, and recognize that employment is a mutual benefit relationship, that companies are companies of people, and that employers have more bargaining power than employees. As in, an employee's life and the life of their family may be at stake if they lose the job, while the company's existence will not be equally at stake.

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To be fair you should have posted this map as well, from the same Wiki article

 

959px-At-will_employment_-_public_policy

 

Most states effectively do not recognize at will employment, and only tolerate it as a relic of days when it was common thinking that you were "lucky to have a job". Good we've moved on from that, and recognize that employment is a mutual benefit relationship, that companies are companies of people, and that employers have more bargaining power than employees. As in, an employee's life and the life of their family may be at stake if they lose the job, while the company's existence will not be equally at stake.

 

Except that's not what that map is of.

That map is of this:

 

"Under the public policy exception, an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute.

This includes retaliating against an employee for performing an action that complies with public policy (such as repeatedly warning that the employer is shipping defective airplane parts in violation of safety regulations promulgated pursuant to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958[26]), as well as refusing to perform an action that would violate public policy. In this diagram, the pink states have the 'exception', which protects the employee.

As of October 2000,[27] forty-two U.S. states and the District of Columbia recognize public policy as an exception to the at-will rule.[28]"

 

It also goes on to state that the employee has a right to terminate his employment without notice to the employer or cause (which is usually frowned upon in business). So I don't understand why you are trying to portray this as a negative for the employee?

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Except that's not what that map is of.

That map is of this:

 

"Under the public policy exception, an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute.

This includes retaliating against an employee for performing an action that complies with public policy (such as repeatedly warning that the employer is shipping defective airplane parts in violation of safety regulations promulgated pursuant to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958[26]), as well as refusing to perform an action that would violate public policy. In this diagram, the pink states have the 'exception', which protects the employee.

As of October 2000,[27] forty-two U.S. states and the District of Columbia recognize public policy as an exception to the at-will rule.[28]"

 

It also goes on to state that the employee has a right to terminate his employment without notice to the employer or cause (which is usually frowned upon in business). So I don't understand why you are trying to portray this as a negative for the employee?

 

The map was to illustrate that most states have exceptions to at will employment, which is a concept that stems from free market thinking and places very little importance on employeee welfare. It's a negative because there's a disparity in power between an employee and an employer. If i'm your employer and i can fire you because i don't like that you asked for a raise and you seemingly have no recourse, then to me it's clear at will employment is a bad thing.

 

As a younger person working retail i was technically at will, but in Illinois at least you always get an employee guidebook or a contract that specifies both parties can terminate employment at any time with a notice period and specific cause. Subsequent jobs have had very clear letters of offer and contracts that stipulated the terms of employment and termination.

 

At will employment is to me sort of like your average terms of use/EULA, where many clauses are clearly not enforceable. For example, that the company can cease services for any reason or for no reason, or has final say on all matters. It's up to courts to decide whether or not these stand, and this is what O'Donnell is doing right now. My personal feeling is that he is trying to collect on overtime (which like most companies in IT Bungie probably doesn't normally pay) and other benefits the law and his contract says he's owed. Is he doing it out of spite? Very possible. Is it drama? Maybe, depends on your perspective.

 

To go back to your question, i think the idea of "at will" employment is bad because an employer theoretically can dismiss anyone for any reason including race, nationality, religion, etc., and then it's on the fired employee to prove wrongdoing in court. While it appears to also give employees freedom to come and go in pursuit of their own goals, i personally see employment as a more binding relationship, and not something founded entirely on self-interest. As O'Donnell was with Bungie for nearly 15 years and contributed so much, i believe it was much more than a job to him, and can understand how he feels.

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1. The map was to illustrate that most states have exceptions to at will employment,

 

2. To go back to your question, i think the idea of "at will" employment is bad because an employer theoretically can dismiss anyone for any reason including race, nationality, religion, etc., and then it's on the fired employee to prove wrongdoing in court.

 

1. Yes, exceptions which do not invalidate At-Will law as you said it did. In essence, you were misrepresenting what it actually was. These "exceptions" are based on social policy towards employees. Anything that would be wrongful termination supersedes the At-Will law.

 

2. Except that's not what At-Will is. It clearly states that whatever reason cannot be one which is unlawful. So, basically if it can be proved by the employee they were fired for race, nationality, religion, etc. Then At-Will is thrown out anyways.

 

In this situation, unless Marty was discriminated against (which I find highly unlikely) and he is an At-Will employee, the law would still apply. However you interpret it isn't the issue, it's what the law says that matters. I don't even know what your agenda is here since you seem to be turning this into a worker rights debate rather than a discussion about whether or not he actually has a case.

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1. Yes, exceptions which do not invalidate At-Will law as you said it did. In essence, you were misrepresenting what it actually was. These "exceptions" are based on social policy towards employees. Anything that would be wrongful termination supersedes the At-Will law.

 

2. Except that's not what At-Will is. It clearly states that whatever reason cannot be one which is unlawful. So, basically if it can be proved by the employee they were fired for race, nationality, religion, etc. Then At-Will is thrown out anyways.

 

In this situation, unless Marty was discriminated against (which I find highly unlikely) and he is an At-Will employee, the law would still apply. However you interpret it isn't the issue, it's what the law says that matters. I don't even know what your agenda is here since you seem to be turning this into a worker rights debate rather than a discussion about whether or not he actually has a case.

 

I think i've made my agenda very clear: i don't like what is described as at will employment. I believe O'Donnell has a case from experience, but of course i don't have the facts of what transpired. For your second point, that's the problem. If you're fired because i'm your boss and i don't like your cologne then according to at will thinking good luck to you - feel free to sue me, but in the meantime you're out of a job. I don't think that's a healthy situation.

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I think i've made my agenda very clear: i don't like what is described as at will employment. I believe O'Donnell has a case from experience, but of course i don't have the facts of what transpired. For your second point, that's the problem. If you're fired because i'm your boss and i don't like your cologne then according to at will thinking good luck to you - feel free to sue me, but in the meantime you're out of a job. I don't think that's a healthy situation.

 

If you don't like it, don't sign the contract. That simple. If he signed it, he agreed to the terms. Unless you think he deserves it despite knowingly entering such an agreement?

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If you don't like it, don't sign the contract. That simple. If he signed it, he agreed to the terms. Unless you think he deserves it despite knowingly entering such an agreement?

 

But he says that they violated the contract, and perhaps WA labor laws? I don't know, we don't know what his contract said. Bungie are denying the claims, so the courts will have to decide or the parties will settle. I think he deserves whatever the contract they signed said, and also what relevant laws mandate (which typically should be far less than the specific contract).

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