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.