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Twitter Employees File Class-Action Lawsuit for Mass Layoffs with No Notice

Former Twitter employees are suing the company for the ongoing mass layoff, claiming that the company violated labor law and California state law for not providing advance notice or severance pay to terminated workers, according to a class action lawsuit filed in Federal court Thursday.

Elon Musk took control of Twitter last week after he couldn’t back out of his $44 billion purchase agreement. Thursday, the company began laying off roughly 3,700 employees—about 50 percent of its workforce, according to the lawsuit. Twitter announced in an email to all staff Thursday that they would receive an email by 9 a.m. PDT Friday: The email would go to their @twitter.com email address if they still have a job, and to their personal email if they were being laid off.

The class-action lawsuit claims that Twitter has violated California’s WARN Act, which “requires covered employers to provide advance notice to employees affected by plant closings and mass layoffs” in the state. Covered employers are companies who have more than 75 employees in the state. . One plaintiff was laid off on November 1 without any advance written notice, which is a violation of labor law, the lawsuit claims—both federal and California state law require that a terminated employee be given 60 days of advance notice. The lawsuit says this employee was given none, and was also given no severance pay.

Three other plaintiffs were simply locked out of their Twitter accounts on Thursday, which they took to mean they were being laid off, the lawsuit continues.

The lawsuit also points out that Musk’s Tesla had a mass layoff during the summer without giving employees the mandated advance notice. “That company attempted to obtain releases from laid off employees without informing them of their rights under the federal or California WARN Acts,” the Twitter lawsuit reads. “A federal court subsequently ordered the company to provide employees notice of the claims that had been filed on their behalf.”

Musk called that lawsuit “trivial” soon after it was filed.

The lawsuit states that the former Twitter employees were concerned that their firings were not unique, and filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of any other Twitter employee laid off without the legally mandated advance notice.

Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., the firm that filed the lawsuit, did not provide a comment.

“Plaintiffs file this action seeking to ensure that Twitter comply with the law and provide the requisite notice or severance payment in connection with the anticipated layoffs and that it not solicit releases of claims of any employees without informing them of the pendency of this action and their right to pursue their claims under the federal or California WARN Act,” the lawsuit reads.

A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment; it is unclear whether Twitter continues to have a communications team.

The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief, which would restrain Twitter from doing any other firings without proper notice and severance pay. They’re also demanding that Twitter be required to tell its employees about the lawsuit, as well as compensatory damages.

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