Twitter Slapped With Class Action Lawsuit After Firing 3,700 Employees Following Musk Takeover

Twitter has been slapped with a class action lawsuit in the US after the microblogging platform laid off hundreds of employees following takeover by tech billionaire Elon Musk.

The lawsuit charges that Twitter sent employees up the garden path without notice. The class action suit was filed in the US District Court in the Northern District of California. The suit accuses Twitter and Musk of violating worker protection laws including the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act as well as the California WARN Act, TechCrunch reported. Under both these laws employees must be given an advance notice of 60 days of.

Twitter headquarters building, San Francisco
Twitter headquarters building, San Francisco Wikimedia Commons

The lawsuit was filed after Twitter started a major round of layoffs on Friday. Employees were informed of the decision via email, while the entrances to offices were closed and employees' access systems were deactivated.

Justifying the mass layoffs, Musk said on Friday that the company was witnessing "massive drop in revenue" as advertisers started withdrawing ads. Musk directly blamed a coalition of civil rights groups was responsible as they pressurized top advertisers to withdraw ad deals. Musk said the activists are cutting at the root of Twitter revenue in order to force their view on content moderation on Twitter.

Musk said Twitter has not made any change to content moderation policies after his takeover. "Extremely messed up! They're (civil right groups) trying to destroy free speech in America," he tweeted.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk carried a basin to the Twitter office on the day he official took over the company Twitter

Sacking 3,700 Employees

"In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday," Twitter said in an email to staff, Reuters reported. According to the agency, the plan is to reduce as many as 3,700 headcount, which will be about half the workforce at Twitter currently.

Those affected mostly are from engineering, communications, product, content curation and machine learning.

Class Action Lawsuit Seeks 'a Range of Reliefs'

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs who took Twitter to court said they were "terminated on November 3 by being locked out of their accounts".

"Twitter is also enacting widespread layoffs across its workforce today, on Nov. 4, 2022, it stated, adding that California's Employment Development Department had not received a notice related to the event," they said, IANS reported.

The class action lawsuit seeks "a range of relief, including compensatory damages (including wages owed), as well as declaratory relief, pre- and post-judgment interest, plus other attorneys' fees and costs".

Twitter Pixabay

Fraught Takeover Deal

Musk completed the long-drawn Twitter acquisition last week and took the company private following the $44 billion deal. He fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and head of legal policy Vijaya Gadde following the takeover. Twitter's chief financial officer Ned Segal was also among members of the senior leadership who were fired. Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett was reportedly escorted out of the Twitter headquarters according to reports.

Musk's Twitter acquisition saga had started earlier this year, when he amassed a 9 percent stake in the social media giant to become its largest shareholder. In April he followed up with a proposal to acquire Twitter by offering $54.20 per share. The deal then descended into chaos as he blamed the Twitter board for misrepresenting the number of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter shares plunged during the spat that followed and Musk said he was quitting the deal, forcing the Board to sue him.

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