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Lawsuits & Litigation

Former Twitter Employees File Class Action Lawsuits

— December 8, 2022

The latest round of lawsuits claims that Twitter has violated multiple laws by laying off employees without providing proper notice.

Former Twitter employees have filed a lawsuit against the social media company, accusing it of violating multiple labor laws during its recent mass layoff.

According to CNN, the plaintiffs filed at least four separate complaints against the company.

“Real people were affected by this. I have a family, I have kids to support,” said former Twitter engineer Wren Turkal. “All that we’re looking for is fairness.”

Another former Twitter engineer, Emmanuel Cornet, suggested that the abruptness of Elon Musk’s layoffs may not have even been legal.

“It seems like the layoffs have been done in a way that’s really clumsy and inhumane and potentially illegal,” Cornet said during a press conference. “And this is the aftermath.”

CNN reports that the lawsuits are seeking class action status.

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

In their complaints, the former Twitter employees allege that the company reneged on promises to allow remote work and to provide severance benefits after the Musk acquisition was finalized.

Several employees have also claimed that Twitter’s layoffs were discriminatory, insofar as they seem to have disproportionately affected female workers.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told Reuters that many women felt that they “had targets on their backs” once Musk took over.

Similarly, Liss-Riordan claims that Musk’s actions have made it more difficult for disabled employees to continue working at full capacity.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter—like many other technology companies—implemented far-reaching internal reforms.

Among Twitter’s more popular decisions was allowing many of its employees to work for time.

Even when the intensity of the coronavirus pandemic began to wane, Twitter announced that it would not require its employees to return to the office.

However, Musk ordered Twitter workers back on-site almost immediately after his takeover, demanding that employees be “more hardcore.”

During a Thursday hearing, attorneys for the plaintiffs told the court that they expect Twitter to continue undercutting its employees’ rights.

Speaking to the court, lawyers asked that Twitter be prevented from communicating with active employees in any way that could preclude their participation in a lawsuit.

“Plaintiffs are very concerned that employees will be asked to sign away their rights without notice that they have legal claims to additional benefits and severance and that these legal claims have already been filed on their behalf,” the plaintiffs said.

Liss-Riordan emphasized that nobody—including Elon Musk—should be considered above the rule of law.

“The richest man in the world is not above the law,” she said. “The employees have rights here.”

“Of all the issues Elon Musk is facing right now, this feels like the easiest one to fix,” Liss-Riordan added. “Treat your workers with respect.”

As reported before, many of the claims against Twitter cite a federal law requiring that large companies provide their employees with advance notice of any planned, large-scale layoffs.


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