Sadly, Telltale’s woes just won’t end. Telltale Games has been sued by a former employee that had been laid off by the company’s recent actions. According to Polygon, a class-action lawsuit was sued by Vernie Roberts “on behalf of himself and his fellow laid-off workers”. Roberts says that Telltale laid off the workers “without cause” and without any “advance written notice as required by the WARN Act”. The WARN Act, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, says that “most businesses with at least 100 full-time workers must notify employees 60 days in advance of any plant closings or mass layoffs”.
As for the definition of a “mass layoff”, the Act says that it is “a reduction of 50 or more employees within a 30-day period (if the total comprises at least one-third of the company’s workforce), or any layoff of 500 or more workers”. Polygon explained more about Roberts’ complaint, saying that”the total layoffs at Telltale amount to approximately 275 employees. The figure appears to include the layoffs that occurred Sept. 21, which media reports pegged at about 250 individuals, as well as the skeleton crew of 25 that remains at the studio as it winds down operations. Telltale terminated the employees without providing any severance, according to the complaint”.
According to Polygon, it won’t be easy for Telltale to defend themselves. There is one flaw in the WARN Act that they can use to defend themselves, but there is a catch. California has their own version of the WARN Act. This version doesn’t exclude “business circumstances”, and Telltale is based in California.