Ex-Telltale dev files class action suit over sudden mass layoffs

A former Telltale employee has filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging a violation California’s WARN Act by failing to give 60 days notice ahead of mass layoffs.

A Telltale Games employee affected by the large-scale layoffs brought about by Telltale Games’ closure has filed a class action lawsuit against the company.

The suit alleges that Telltale Games violated California’s WARN Act by failing to give 60 days notice ahead of the mass termination, reports Kotaku. Though, as Kotaku also points out, there are some exceptions to the WARN Act that could possibly apply to Telltale's situation.

There has been a significant amount of debate online over the legality of Telltale’s decision last week to dismiss at least 250, now 275 according to the lawsuit, of its employees with no severance, no notice, and only one week of healthcare coverage when it initiated what it called a “majority studio closure” last week.

Now, the former Telltale Games employee behind the lawsuit alleges that the company failed to give its employees the notice required by California law, and as a result failed to pay a total of 275 affected employees the wages and benefits they are owed. 

As such, the suit is seeking damages “equal to the sum of all of the Aggrieved Employees unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay, pension and 401k contributions and other ERISA benefits, for 60 days following the member employee’s termination,” all things that the suit says would have been paid had Telltale adhered to the requirements of the WARN Act.

The layoffs last week left Telltale Games all but closed, keeping only a staff 25 employed to finish the development of a Minecraft: Story Mode adaptation in the works for Netflix, though employees affected by the massive cuts maintain that the studio is done.

Telltale itself has been avoiding publicly labeling the company closed and, while all projects outside of Minecraft were canceled when the majority of the studio’s developers lost their jobs, is now saying that it is looking at possible ways that The Walking Dead: The Final Season’s remaining two episodes “can be completed and released in some form.”

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