Polygon reports that Vernie Roberts filed the lawsuit in San Francisco this Monday on behalf of himself and other laid-off staff. He claims Telltale Games let go of the roughly-250 employees without “advance written warning as required by the WARN Act”.
The 1988 federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act stipulates that companies greater than 100 employees must provide 60 days warning before mass layoffs (50 or more employees within 30 days).
The California version of WARN, which Roberts accuses the San Rafael-based studio of breaking, is even stricter, applying to business with as few as 75 employees.
Redundant staff will remember that
Roberts’ accusation claims Telltale failed to give sufficient warning before laying off the majority of staff, alongside a failure to provide severance pay.
If successful, Telltale Games would need to pay 60 days salary and benefits to employees as if their employment had continued - plus interest.
GameDaily suggests that Telltale may be able to claim exemption from the federal act if it was seeking funding or suffering “unforeseen circumstances”. The state-level act, however, isn’t so forgiving.
But with two major backers pulling out during finance talks, Telltale may have a defence against this latest blow.
Workers rights group Game Workers Unite issued a statement of condemnation shortly after the redundancies, similarly scathing of both the lack of notice and severance pay afforded to former Telltale employees.