Laid-off Twitter workers who are suing the social media company over their termination must pursue claims in individual arbitration and not a class-action lawsuit after a judge ruled that they must drop their group suit.
Back in November, five former Twitter employees sued the company claiming that the social media platform violated federal and state laws that require at least 60-day notice of a mass layoff after Twitter laid off roughly 3,700 employees in a cost-cutting measure by Musk, and hundreds more subsequently resigned.
According to US District Judge James Donato’s ruling, the plaintiffs who allege that the social media company did not give adequate time before their terminations and are now fighting the company over their severance packages must pursue their claims in private arbitration citing agreements they signed with the company.
In doing so, Judge Donato granted Twitter’s request to force its ex-employees to give up on the request for class action though he left for another day – as warranted by developments in the case – whether the entire class action lawsuit must be dismissed.
Three other former Twitter employees allege they had opted out of Twitter’s arbitration agreement to join the lawsuit after it was first filed.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, had already filed 300 demands for arbitration on behalf of former Twitter employees who claim they haven’t received the complete severance package Twitter promised them before Elon Musk became CEO – some have also alleged gender or disability discrimination- said on Monday that she expects to file hundreds more.
Following a proposed class action accusing the company of failing to give adequate notice before terminating them, Judge Donato ruled last year that Twitter must notify the thousands of laid-off workers after its acquisition by Musk.
He said that Twitter must give workers a brief and plainly worded notice before asking them to sign severance agreements waiving their ability to sue the social media company.
The company is also facing at least three other complaints that were filed with a US labor board and claim that Twitter workers were fired for criticizing the company, attempting to organize a strike and other conduct protected by federal labor law.