What just happened? Long-running game development studio Telltale Games has come under fire for the way it handled the recent layoffs of 90 percent of its workforce. The company reportedly failed to offer its employees severance, among other alleged transgressions. Now, a former company employee has slapped the studio with a class-action lawsuit, claiming that the recent layoffs violate California's labor laws.
Coming hot on the heels of reports that Telltale Games fired 90 percent of its workforce without severance, the soon-to-be-shuttered development studio is facing even more problems.
The crux of Roberts' argument reportedly lies in his belief that Telltale violated California's version of the "WARN Act," which requires larger companies to give soon-to-be-fired workers 60 days notice before a mass layoff.
From a layman's point of view, Roberts' case seems pretty solid. If what we understand about the debacle is accurate, Telltale's mass layoffs do fit the criteria for a WARN violation; Telltale did have more than 75 workers prior to the firings, and leadership did lay off more than 50 employees in a short period of time.
Furthermore, it doesn't seem like the studio gave its employees advance notice about its impending destruction. However, the question remains: what does Roberts -- and his fellow employees, if they join his cause -- hope to gain from Telltale at this point?
If a company is willing to lay off 90 percent of its staff without severance, leaving only a small skeleton crew to finish the next episode of The Walking Dead's final season, it's probably because said company has run out of funds, or at least come very close to it.
In this case, Telltale probably doesn't have much left. Even if Roberts' case was successful, it's tough to say how much a victory would benefit him and his former peers.
With that said, as Polygon notes, if a court does find that Telltale was in the wrong it could force the company to hand over whatever funds it has left to affected employees - no matter how small the amounts may be.