Twitter workers file class-action lawsuit over Elon Musk’s mass layoffs without notice

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Twitter workers have filed a class action lawsuit over billionaire Elon Musk’s planned mass layoffs at Twitter. The suit alleges violations of the federal and California WARN Act requiring notice and compensation for those layoffs. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 4 (UPI) — Twitter workers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming mass layoffs planned by new owner Elon Musk with no advance notice violate federal and California employment laws.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires 60 days advance written notice of a mass layoff. According to an internal memo, Musk, who completed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter on Oct. 27, planned to begin layoffs Thursday and said staff would be notified of their employment status Friday morning.

The suit, filed Thursday, says, “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 suit against said it had been widely reported Musk plans to lay off about 3,700 workers at Twitter, about 50% of its total workforce.

The suit seeks compensatory damages, including all expenses and wages owed, along with attorney’s fees and “any other relief to which the plaintiffs may be entitled.”

The lawsuit said Musk “engaged in similar violations of the WARN Act and the California WARN Act during the summer of 2022, when another company he owns, Tesla, engaged in mass layoffs without providing advanced written notice. Several former Tesla employees brought a suit against Tesla for these violations.”

At Tesla, the suit said, Musk tried to get workers to sign releases of all WARN Act claims in return for small severance payments of one or two weeks pay. According to the lawsuit, that is much less than the 60 days notice and pay and benefits required to be paid under the WARN Act.

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