Former BioWare Employees Suing For Better Severance Pay
Back in August, BioWare announced that it was laying off about 50 people as part of an “effort to continue to thrive”. Less than two months later, a group of former BioWare employees are suing the company for better severance pay than what they were given.
The lawsuit was revealed via a post on Twitter by former BioWare technical director Jon Renish.
“Seven employees, with an average of 14 years at BioWare, have refused to accept BioWare’s low offers, and have filed a Statement of Claim with Alberta’s Court of King’s Bench, requesting fair severance pay and including a request for punitive damages for what they say is unreasonably poor treatment by BioWare,” the statement reads.
According to the suit, BioWare’s offer was “significantly less” than the average severance other companies in the region have offered. That package, according to the suit, says that Alberta Courts have awarded “at least one month of severance pay per year of service with the full value of all benefits included.”
One former employee gave more insight into the concerns about finding new work given that much of their productivity is locked under non-disclosure agreements.
“In light of the numerous recent industry layoffs and the fact that BioWare’s NDAs prevent us from showing any of our recent work on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf in our portfolios, we are very concerned about the difficulty many of us will have finding work as the holiday season approaches,” they said. “While we remain supportive of the game we worked so hard on, and of our colleagues continuing that work, we are struggling to understand why BioWare is shortchanging us in this challenging time.”
The lawyer for the seven plaintiffs, R. Alex Kennedy, says that BioWare might have even included what they view are illegal provisions in contracts.
“There are many situations where employers include termination provisions that are not enforced by the Courts,” he said. “I think we see that in this case too. BioWare attempted to reduce its obligation to these employees well below what the courts typically award, including by eliminating benefits from its termination pay – that appears to be contrary to the Employment Standards Code.”
Insider Gaming has reached out to BioWare and EA for comment on the lawsuit. As of publishing, neither party has responded.
What do you think of former employees suing BioWare for better severance pay? Let us know in the comments below.