Home Gaming Former Telltale employees file class-action lawsuit against studio for improper dismissal

Former Telltale employees file class-action lawsuit against studio for improper dismissal

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Telltale now facing legal action over unfair dismissals

Despite the story at Telltale Games being just another marker in the depressing history of studio closures, its former employees are seeking to make an example of their predicament to help set boundaries for studios in future. On Friday last week over 250 employees were fired from the studio without notice, with Telltale stating that they would not be receiving severance and that their medical aid would expire at the end of the month. This forms the basis of legal proceedings now being presented to Telltale, as employees building a case over improper dismissal citing an America law called the WARN Act.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act protects workers from sudden dismissals by stipulating that mass layoffs (as is the case with Telltale, as 25 employees remained at the studio) require a 60-day notice to those affected. The only way around it is with extreme circumstances, which some states in America stipulate as unforeseen financial difficulties. California, the state where Telltale is located and where the suit is being filed, doesn’t have this amendment. Or at least the WARN counterpart that protects workers doesn’t allow Telltale to leverage this in order to build a defense.

It would be a tough defense to mount with some employees having only been at the studio for a handful of weeks before closure, as one might argue why Telltale might have been hiring in light of financial troubles. The class-action lawsuit is seeking to provide plaintiffs with a full salary and benefits for 60 days after their dismissal, as would have been customary should the Act have been followed and proper notice provided. Considering Telltale is looking for financial help to complete some of its projects after the dismissals, that money might now go to the right people if they win this case.

Telltale came under fire again yesterday after it expressed interest in seeking out financial aid to help finish the last season of The Walking Dead, whose second episode releases this week. Many commented that the company should instead be using any money to help provide the proper severance to former employees instead of attempting to enrich those left at the studio. Fans of the series arguably just want to see their six-year story finished, but there’s a much greater story to be told if Telltale is held to account for its mistreatment of the hundreds of workers that made those games possible in the first place.

As of now the final season of The Walking Dead has been pulled from sale until a firm conclusion is in place, with its content roadmap presumably on hold. Telltale is still reportedly working on a Minecraft project for Netflix, after which the studio is expected to close its doors for good.

Last Updated: September 26, 2018

10 Comments

  1. Kromas

    September 26, 2018 at 12:43

    Good. No matter how much you enjoyed Telltale games. What they did was horrible. Fuck ’em… right in the ass.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      September 26, 2018 at 13:30

      No lube

      Reply

      • Kromas

        September 26, 2018 at 13:31

        Zero lube. They must be dry.

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          September 26, 2018 at 14:01

          Bone dry.

          Reply

  2. DaxterZA

    September 26, 2018 at 12:51

    Even though I agree their dismissal was very sudden and unfair, and they definitely have the right to do what they want to, but this is my 2cents on the matter:

    They are a big team who has been making these games for years, even though pushing out 2 – 3 games a year with Telltale was a bit ridiculous, and the quality of their rushed worked showed badly in their recent games my opinion.

    But rather than making a scene about this situation they can rather start something new together and they will be massively successful just because of their past with Telltale, and then also keep their dignities in tact instead of being known as the Devs who sued Telltale… Good luck finding other work with them being seen as that.

    Reply

    • Kromas

      September 26, 2018 at 13:08

      You do understand they got no severance no medical and no other costs. Most of those devs don’t have enough money to survive a month on their current expenses. But no they should not sue because it might make them look “bad”.

      Reply

    • HvR

      September 26, 2018 at 13:12

      Yeah well see how you like it if you are on the wrong suddenly without a job, loosing 4 months salary and benefits just to enable the executives enough time to clear out and not loose their 3rd beach house.

      And if a future employer holds that against them for being legally in the right and fighting for what they are owed they are probably just as dodgy and not worth working for.

      Reply

    • I_am_Duffman!

      September 26, 2018 at 13:36

      The community has shown that they sympathize with the affected. Them suing Telltale should not have an affect on their ability to get another job. If you were wronged and the law is on your side, why let the fat cats get fatter?

      Also, it would be a good idea to start their own company. The problem is that starting a company requires a decent amount of capital and in this industry, there is quite a long delay between your expenses and when you finally realise some sort of revenue stream. And good luck going to the bank for assistance. I am pretty sure all banks will give them a big fat decline on their applications since you don’t have any other source of income.

      Reply

  3. geel slang

    September 26, 2018 at 16:16

    Thats the land of the free for you, free to be fired anytime, anywhere.

    Reply

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