Twitter Inc. was sued Thursday for a plan abruptly eliminating 3,700 jobs at the social media platform, just days after Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the company.
A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court, tabbed Cornet v. Twitter Inc., had signatures from workers who claim the company did not provide enough notice and is in direct violation of federal and California law.
Outraged Twitter employees shared messages of support to one another Thursday night, with many using the hashtag #OneTeam. Among them: A tweet from someone saying they were an employee, eight months pregnant, and locked out of the company laptop Thursday night before being laid off.
According to an email sent to employees on Thursday, obtained by several media outlets, Twitter said it planned to start cutting staff starting Friday. Musk had said publicly he intends to remove half the workforce at the company.
That would put Musk’s revamping Twitter in direct conflict with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that prohibits large companies from massive layoffs without at least 60 days’ advance notice.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney who filed Thursday’s complaint, told Bloomberg: “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.
“We will now see if (Musk) is going to continue to thumb his nose at the laws of this country that protect employees,” Liss-Riordan added. “It appears that he’s repeating the same playbook of what he did at Tesla.”
Liss-Riordan sued Tesla Inc., a company piloted by Musk, over a similar situation in June when 10% of the company’s workforce was laid off. Tesla won a ruling from a federal judge that pushed workers to pursue their claims in closed-door arbitration.
This isn’t the first instance of backlash Musk and Twitter have received since last week’s acquisition became finalized. A study by Montclair State University revealed a spike in hate speech on Twitter since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform last week.