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Telltale Games lays off over 200 employees

It is sad news for the gaming world as Telltale Games is deciding to close up shop. CEO Pete Hawley recently announced the shutdown in a staff-wide meeting. The video game company laid off 275 employees. A crew of 25 will continue to work until the completion of the final project, Minecraft: Story Mode.

The California headquarters is in a state of shock. After the news, Telltale employees were told they had 30 minutes to leave the building. Many are rushing to apply for unemployment and put together a plan, as their health benefits will diminish by the end of the month.

Does California law require employers offer severance?

Employees are filing a class-action suit after the sudden terminations. The complaint outlines a lack of notice, severance and other benefits usually provided to help individuals get back on their feet.

The biggest issue within this case is a lack of severance. The company argues that it is a business closure and does not involve partial layoffs or downsizing, despite still leaving on 25 employees to finish the job.

The Cal-WARN Act is a California law that requires employees receive a 60 day notice for mass layoffs. Many Telltale employees are distraught and hoping for a better outcome after the trial. The class action complaint includes requests to pay all employees what they would have received during the 60 day notice, such as:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • 401K contributions

Protection by the WARN Act often excludes circumstances in which a company is seeking to acquire new business or capital, and notifying employees would pose a risk. Employees may benefit from reviewing employee contracts and speaking with an attorney if they are experiencing questionable layoffs.

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