Lawsuit against Twitter following Silicon Valley sackings that will put 5,000 people out of work

WASHINGTON: Several sacked Twitter employees in the US have initiated a class action lawsuit against the company following the expected firing of more than 3,500 people- half the company’s workforce- by the new owner Elon Musk.
The suit, filed in US District Court in San Francisco on Thursday even before the anticipated pink slips, alleges that Twitter is engaged in conducting mass layoffs without providing the required 60-day notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
Two of the plaintiffs have already been fired, and three others have been locked out of their Twitter accounts and the Twitter office which they interpret to mean they will lose their jobs, according to the lawsuit cited by the local media in California, where most of the layoffs are taking place.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order requiring Twitter to obey the WARN Act, and restricting the company from soliciting employees to sign documents that could give up their right to participate in litigation.
“We filed this lawsuit tonight in an attempt the make sure that employees are aware that they should not sign away their rights and that they have an avenue for pursuing their rights,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney who filed the case, and who is known for class action lawsuits against companies such as Uber, Starbucks, and FedEx, was quoted as saying.
Other litigation attorneys and labor activists have also flagged Twitter warning of more lawsuits. “I’m now in contact with many Twitter workers who reached out to me about a class action lawsuit overnight. You had the right to 60 days notice under federal and state WARN Acts. You didn’t get it. Mr. Musk, the storm is coming,” one attorney warned on Twitter.
On Thursday, Twitter sent a companywide email to employees telling them not to come to office on Friday pending a decision on their employment status that would be conveyed over email with the subject line: “Your Role at Twitter.”
“Team, In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday. We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” the email said.
“If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email. If your employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email,” it told the staff.
Employees spoke of a funereal air at the company HQ on Thursday with many of them bidding farewell to colleagues even before knowing their employment status given that they were being denied access to the office the next day.
“Last Thursday in the SF office, really the last day Twitter was Twitter. 8 months pregnant and have a 9 month old. Just got cut off from laptop access @Twitter,” one employee who identified herself as part of the product marketing tweeted.
San Francisco city officials and labor and union activists also worried about the impact of the impending pink slips at Twitter, which along with layoffs at other tech companies such as Stripe, Snap, Lyft, Coinbase, and OpenDoor, is expected to put more than 5,000 people out of work this weekend.
“This is an unusual day. I’ve never seen so many layoffs announced on the same day before,” Ted Egan, chief economist for the City and County of San Francisco told the local media.
Meanwhile, right wing trolls and conservative talking heads gloated over the layoffs, describing the fired Twitter employees as “liberal snowflakes” and a “woke” progressives who had long censored views from the right, and who deserved to be fired.

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