Twitter again accused of legal violations during mass layoffs

Twitter faced a lawsuit accusing it of illegally laying off contract workers without notice after Elon Musk bought the company

April 05, 2023 09:45 am | Updated 09:45 am IST

File photo of the Twitter logo and Elon Musk

File photo of the Twitter logo and Elon Musk | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Twitter Inc. faced a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing the social media giant of illegally laying off contract workers without notice after Elon Musk bought the company last year, the latest action stemming from its massive job cuts.

The proposed class action, filed in San Francisco federal court, claims Twitter in November laid off numerous workers employed by staffing firm TEKsystems Inc. without the 60 days of advance notice required by U.S. and California law.

Five other cases are pending in the same court accusing Twitter of violating those laws, targeting female workers for layoffs and discriminating against employees with disabilities. Twitter has denied wrongdoing.

Twitter laid off roughly 3,700 employees, or half its workforce, in early November in a cost-cutting measure by Musk, who paid $44 billion to acquire the social media platform. Hundreds more employees subsequently resigned.

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Twitter and Maryland-based TEKsystems, named as a defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents the plaintiffs in all of the cases, said in an email: "While Elon Musk seems to think he's saving the company money by avoiding these obligations, we plan to show him that not meeting his responsibilities can be a lot more costly."

Liss-Riordan said she also has filed complaints in private arbitration on behalf of more than 1,700 former Twitter employees and contractors who signed agreements to arbitrate legal disputes. She said workers employed by TEKsystems did not sign arbitration agreements.

Liss-Riordan also represents workers who have filed complaints against Twitter with a U.S. labour board claiming they were fired for criticising the company, attempting to organise a strike, and other conduct protected by federal labour law.

Twitter has not responded to those claims.

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