On April 4th, Twitter was once again sued at a federal court in San Francisco. The complainants hired by TEKsystems claim that Twitter failed to give them a 60- day advance notice which is otherwise a requisite as per the law in the United States. A series of layoffs started once Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla took over Twitter around November in the last year. In the first month following his success, Musk laid off over 3700 employees which was about half of the twitter work force. Subsequently many employees including some in leadership positions resigned. In recent months, several lawsuits have been filed against the billionaire’s company claiming that he fired employees without a prior notice and discriminated against women and people with disabilities.
Shannon Riordan, a graduate from the Harvard Law School who is famous for her lawsuits against Uber, FedEx and Starbucks is the lead attorney in all cases against Twitter with regards to layoffs. She has 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.” She has been launching attacks on twitter not just in the court but also on twitter itself in a series of tweets since November 11th, 2022. As of now, her firm is fighting four class action lawsuits against twitter and filing separate arbitration demands for some ex-twitter employees following the order of a judge.
If @elonmusk just does the right thing and pays my 1500+ clients what they are owed, he would actually save money in the end. Not holding my breath but perhaps he'll come to his senses. https://t.co/tosR4dnL6g
— Shannon Liss-Riordan (@SLissRiordan) February 24, 2023
Earlier, twitter said that the lawsuit claiming that U.S. laws were violated in the layoff process had no base and must be moved to arbitration. Twitter claimed that the lawsuit has caused further confusion and only delayed the process of granting severance pay. However, Shannon claimed that the severance agreements being sent out by twitter are for much less than what Elon owns the employees. Although in another filing, the social media giant argued that the plaintiffs had signed contracts to arbitrate any conflict concerning their employment, Shannon’s firm has claimed that those employees by TEKsystems did not sign any such agreement. Twitter has also rejected claims of any discrimination against people with disabilities and women.
What to expect:
With lawsuits after lawsuits piling up against twitter, the billionaire CEO and his legal team will have to work hard to achieve middle ground with the plaintiffs. But only time would tell whether Musk would lose a lot more than what he wishes to save with layoffs as Shannon says. It is probable that Twitter will increase the amount of severance payments to laid off employees but the increase is not expected to be significant.