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Former Telltale Employee Files Suit After Massive Layoffs

A former Telltale Games employee filed a lawsuit against the company on Monday following massive layoffs there last week. The complaint alleges the game developer violated California’s WARN Act, which states employers must give workers at least 60 days advance notice of termination.

Vernie Roberts, Jr. filed the suit on behalf of himself and the approximately 275 people who worked at Telltale. “The Walking Dead” studio failed to pay its laid off workers their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, and accrued vacation for 60 working days following their terminations, according to a copy of the complaint posted on ClassAction.org. It also allegedly failed to make pension and 401K contributions, pay medical expenses, or provide other employee benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Telltale Games laid off nearly 90% of its staff without warning (and, apparently, without severance pay) on Friday morning during a company meeting. Co-founder Dan Connors told Variety the decision was connected directly to a failed round of financing. The surprise news came just days before the release of the second episode of “The Walking Dead’s” final season. The developer said it’s now in talks with potential partners to finish the remaining two episodes.

Following the layoffs, CEO Pete Hawley said the developer was working to set itself on a new course, but it ran out of time. “We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales,” he said in a statement. “With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”

He added the studio will comment on its product portfolio in the “coming weeks.”

Variety contacted Telltale Games about the class action lawsuit, but it did not immediately respond.

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