Bloomberg reported on Friday that Twitter was sued over Elon Musk’s plan to fire off around half of its employees, citing a class-action lawsuit filed in a federal court in San Francisco.
The lawsuit claims that the corporation fired employees without adequate notice, in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a federal statute that compels employers to provide employees affected by plant closings and mass layoffs advance notice.
The action, filed by attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, sought a court order compelling Twitter to comply with the WARN Act and prohibiting the company from having employees sign any formal paperwork consenting to waive their right to engage in litigation.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter was also accused of breaking a California statute. Twitter is to begin laying off employees on Friday, according to an email sent to employees. According to people familiar with the situation, Musk has pledged to cut costs at the platform he purchased for $44 billion last month.
The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act prohibits large corporations from initiating mass layoffs without providing at least 60 days’ notice.
When they lost access to their laptops, emails, and internal slack channels, several Twitter employees went to the microblogging network. Soon after, the hashtag #Lovewhereyouworked started trending on Twitter.
Morgan Bell, a member of Twitter’s product management team, was among those who were denied access. “I recently lost access to Twitter, email, and Slack.” Everything seems surreal. She posted, “#LoveWhereYouWorked #OneTeam.”. Rachel Bonn, another member of Twitter’s product marketing team, was let go as well.
“Last Thursday in the SF office, really the last day Twitter was Twitter. 8 months pregnant and have a 9-month-old. Just got cut off from laptop access #LoveWhereYouWorked,” she tweeted.
Earlier, Lisa Bloom, a Los Angeles-based trial lawyer who represents victims of discrimination, harassment, and abuse, posted a lengthy Twitter thread outlining the consequences of violating the WARN Act.
“Employers like Twitter who violate the WARN Act face civil penalties of $500/day for each violation. With thousands of employees, this could be significant, though maybe not to Elon [Musk],” she tweeted.
She also stated that Twitter will be held accountable for all of them (civil penalties, missed compensation, lost medical and other benefits) as well as attorneys’ costs for the 60 days it failed to provide workers with notice.
During a conversation with Bloomberg Editor-In-Chief John Micklethwait at the Qatar Economic Forum in June, Musk labeled the Tesla case as “trivial.”. Liss-Riordan sued Tesla Inc. in June on similar claims after Musk’s electric-car company laid off around 10% of its workers.
Tesla won a judgment from an Austin federal judge that required the workers in that case to pursue their claims in closed-door arbitration rather than open court.
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter began on April 14, 2022, and ended on October 27, 2022. Elon Musk began purchasing shares of Twitter, Inc. in January 2022, eventually becoming the company’s top shareholder with a 9.1 percent ownership stake in April.
Musk was then invited to join Twitter’s board of directors, which he initially accepted before declining. On April 14, he made an unsolicited offer to buy the firm for $43 billion, prompting Twitter to respond with a “poison pill” tactic to fend off a hostile takeover.
On April 25, Twitter’s board of directors overwhelmingly approved Musk’s $44 billion takeover deal, and the firm is ready to go private. Musk indicated that he intended to expand the platform’s functionality, open-source its algorithms, prevent spambot accounts, and support free expression.
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