Twitter Employees Sue Over Elon Musk's Layoffs

Twitter is being sued by employees that were fired in a whirlwind restructuring and cost-cutting by its new CEO Elon Musk in the past few days. Musk has hinted that he will lay off employees at Twitter ever since his stake in Twitter was first disclosed months ago. Reports claim that Musk plans to let go as much as half of Twitter's entire workforce, and it all begins today. 

However, it's the method of firing employees that is really making waves, which many say is extremely callous and downright in violation of standard policies. Employees have been bracing for the layoffs ever since Musk signed the final acquisition papers last week, but the abrupt access cut-offs have left most of them puzzled. Some employees woke up only to find that they had been booted off Twitter's internal Slack, Gmail, and other proprietary software services used in the office, while their laptops were remotely wiped off.

The "Red Wedding" of Twitter's top executives and the entire board has already sparked speculations about a long legal tussle, but according to a CNBC report, the floodgates of legal action have already opened. "The class-action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco federal court Thursday by five current or former Twitter employees," says the report.

This wasn't at all unexpected

At the heart of the lawsuits is the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which bars a company from firing employees without a 60-days notice given to them in advance. Lisa Bloom, attorney and owner of The Bloom Firm, tweeted that if the scale of layoffs is over 50 in number in a 30-day period, employees need to be provided with a warning, per California state laws. 

In addition to the federal WARN Act, the lawsuits naturally target Twitter for violating the California WARN Act. The complaint also seeks to block Twitter from avoiding the enforcement of WARN directives as the company might ask the laid-off employees to sign separation papers, potentially robbing them of their legal employment rights. 

Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the complaint and has squared off with Tesla in court before, told Bloomberg that the lawsuit aims to "make sure that employees are aware that they should not sign away their rights and that they have an avenue for pursuing their rights." Twitter has yet to issue an official response to the lawsuits being brought up against the company. 

Twitter employees recently got a last-minute company-wide, unsigned email that told them that they will know about their employment status at 9:00 am (PT) on Friday. The employees that have invoked legal action have either been laid off or have been logged out of company systems but have yet to receive a formal letter in their inbox.