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Lawsuits & Litigation

Fired Twitter Employees File Class Action After Musk Takeover

— November 4, 2022

The employees claim that Twitter violated state and federal labor laws by not providing employees with adequate notice of termination.

Former Twitter employees have filed a class action lawsuit against the company after its new owner, Elon Musk, decided to cut an estimated 3,700 positions.

According to The Hill, the lawsuit was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Diego.

In their complaint, the former Twitter employees allege that Musk violated federal and state law by not providing laid-off employees with adequate notice. Specifically, the complaint asserts that Musk flouted the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WRAN.

WRAN broadly mandates that large companies give employees at least 60 days’ notice before initiating mass layoffs.

The Hill notes that one of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit said that they were terminated on Tuesday.

The plaintiff, along with another three Twitter staffers, found on Tuesday that they had been locked out of their corporate social media accounts—a sign they correctly interpreted to mean that they had been let go.

A 2013 image of Tesla and SpaceX founder and owner Elon Musk. Image via Flickr/user:heisenbergmedia. (CCA-BY-2.0).

However, none of the terminated employees say that they had been provided any prior notification that their positions were about to be terminated.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs have asked the court to issue an injunction preventing Twitter from laying off more employees in contravention of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the class, told Bloomberg that the employees are simply standing up for their rights.

“We filed this lawsuit tonight in an attempt the make sure that employees are aware that they should not sign away their rights and that they have an avenue for pursuing their rights,” Liss-Riordan told Bloomberg.

Musk, writes The Hill, recently acquired Twitter for an estimated $44 billion.

Shortly after taking ownership of the company, Musk said that he planned to fire about 3,700 employees—half of Twitter’s entire workforce.

Staff were notified of Musk’s decision by a company-wide memo sent out on Friday.

“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” Twitter wrote in the memo. “We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”

FOX Business reports that several of Twitter’s C-level executives had already left the company after Musk took control: former CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and policy chief Vijaya Gadde were all either removed by Musk or voluntarily left their positions once the multi-billion-dollar merger was completed.


Former staff sue Twitter as Elon Musk begins mass layoffs

Twitter employees file lawsuit claiming mass layoffs violate federal law requiring notice

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