One day in September, almost every person who worked at Telltale Games was fired. It came as a complete shock to them… and to just about everyone else. That day, bewildered former Telltale employees took to Twitter in dismay to share their stories and to search for new jobs.
Now, one of those ex-employees has filed a class action lawsuit against Telltale. According to the complaint, Telltale was obligated to provide employees with 60 days notice prior to termination, GameSpot reports.
As many as 275 employees can join the class action suit. That’s how many of them were fired on that fateful September day.
At the time, Telltale announced that a skeleton crew of 25 employees would remain to finish up key projects. They weren’t there for very long.
On Friday, these remaining staff members were also fired, according to Inquisitr. It’s not clear whether the crew completed the projects they were there to finish.
Telltale Games HQ on Monday pic.twitter.com/gfQ9oobD4U
— Pixel Boo ???? (@Nitomatta) October 4, 2018
telltale is also being sued pic.twitter.com/9UbmRswRkn
— 「protag」 (@99sprotagonist) October 5, 2018
Fired Telltale employees received no warning and no severance pay in September, and had only nine days left on their health insurance coverage when they got the bad news during a company-wide meeting.
The closure was abrupt. Telltale was in the middle of several projects at the time, and the final season of their The Walking Dead game was scheduled to ship the next week. From the outside, it looked like a successful gaming company that had the eyes of the country on them. Telltale released many popular titles that were widely played.
According to The Verge, the fired employees were told they had 30 minutes to leave the building. Many of them have since shared that Telltale had a toxic work culture, and bad decision-making at the top levels ensured the company’s financial downfall.
The lawsuit alleges that Telltale violated California state law with the mass layoffs by virtue of the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act, according to Forbes.
The law was established in 1988, and requires companies that have 100 full-time employees or more to give staff at least 60 days notice prior to layoffs or closings. That makes things sound pretty good for the suit, but the law does contain language allowing a loophole for companies that were subject to “circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable.”
Should Telltale be held responsible under the WARN Act, the company will be tasked with paying employees 60 days worth of salary and benefits, which is going to be pretty difficult for a closed company to do.