Last Friday we reported on Telltale Games’ closure, the studio behind games such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands.On Tuesday, Polygon reported that Telltale is being sued as a result of its mass layoffs. This class action lawsuit was submitted Monday by former Telltale employee Vernie Roberts on behalf of himself and his coworkers.
According to Roberts’ suit, when Telltale laid off hundreds off its employees without notice, it violated the WARN act. This legislation mandates that companies must notify employees at least 60 days before any mass layoffs. The WARN act defines a mass layoff as losing either 500 employees within 30 days, or 50-499 employees “if they make up at least 33% of the employer’s active workforce.” Telltale exceeded that second number exponentially, laying off roughly 250 employees without proper notification last week, with a “skeleton crew” of 25 staying on for a few extra weeks.
Should Telltale be found guilty of this violation, they’ll be forced to provide back pay to each employee for every day violated. Because the minimum notification period is 60 days, and Telltale gave none prior to the firings, that would mean 60 days worth of back pay for 275 employees, per Polygon.
It seems that the studio has other priorities at this point. Though Telltale has not responded to us or Polygon since the layoffs, beyond a statement confirming they happened, it has made statements to the fans. In a tweet from the studio’s official account on Monday, Telltale assured fans that episodes three and four of The Walking Dead would be “completed and released in some form.” With only 25 employees left across the board, supposedly focusing on a Minecraft game for Netflix, that’s a hefty task.
Meanwhile, its ex-employees are inexplicably jobless with no severance pay and, per Kotaku, health benefits that are due to expire at the end of September.