Twitter’s laid-off workers cannot pursue claims via class-action lawsuit: judge

Twitter’s laid-off workers cannot pursue claims via class-action lawsuit: judge

People walk past Twitter’s offices in New York City on January 12, 2023.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Twitter Inc has secured a ruling that allows the social media company to force some laid-off workers suing over their termination to pursue their claims through individual arbitration rather than a class action.

U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled Friday that five former Twitter employees who pursued a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the company of failing to provide proper notice before firing them after of its purchase by Elon Musk, must pursue their claims in private arbitration.

Donato granted Twitter’s request to compel the five former employees to pursue their claims individually, citing the agreements they signed with the company.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The San Francisco judge adjourned for another day “as warranted by developments in the case” if the entire class action should be dismissed, however, as noted by three other former Twitter employees who claimed to have quit. the company’s arbitration agreement are joined. the lawsuit after it is filed for the first time.

The attorney representing the plaintiffs, Shannon Liss-Riordan, said Monday that she has already filed 300 arbitration requests on behalf of former Twitter employees and is likely to file hundreds more.

All of these workers claim they did not receive the full severance package promised by Twitter before Musk took over. Some have also claimed sexual or disability discrimination.

Last year, Donato ruled that Twitter must notify thousands of workers who were laid off after its acquisition by Musk following a proposed class action accusing the company of failing to provide adequate notice before terminating them.

The judge said that before requiring workers to sign severance agreements waiving their ability to sue the company, Twitter must give them “a concise and clearly worded notice.”

Twitter laid off roughly 3,700 employees in early November in a cost-cutting measure by Musk, and hundreds more have since resigned.

In December of last year, Twitter was also accused by dozens of former employees of various legal violations stemming from Musk’s takeover of the company, including targeting women for layoffs and failing to pay promised severance.

Twitter is also facing at least three complaints filed with a US labor board alleging that workers were fired for criticizing the company, trying to organize a strike and other conduct protected by federal labor law.

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