As new boss Elon Musk was preparing emails detailing the fate of their jobs to Twitter staffers, a class-action lawsuit was filed in California charging the company with violating federal and state law.
The suit, filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court, maintains that Twitter violated a law that restricts large companies from enacting mass layoffs without at least 60 days notice. Bloomberg News first reported the suit.
The suit did not stop the new Twitter boss from sending out notices to thousands of staffers, following a memo shared Thursday that warned they would receive notice on their corporate email if their jobs remained and on their personal email if their jobs were eliminated.
As early as Thursday night, some Twitter employees began posting on the platform that they had already been locked out of their company email accounts ahead of the planned layoff notification.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order requiring Twitter to obey the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, and stop the social media company Musk took over last week from pushing employees to sign documents that could give up their right to take part in any lawsuits.
The law requires that employers with at least 100 workers disclose layoffs involving 500 or more employees, regardless of whether a company is publicly traded or private, The Associated Press reported.
Shortly after he closed his buyout of the platform, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and other top executives. He also removed the company’s board of directors and installed himself as the sole board member.
“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 Thursday’s complaint, told Bloomberg.
The attorney filed a similar lawsuit over layoffs at Musk’s Tesla Inc. in June, the report said, as the electric-car maker excessed about 10% of its employees. Tesla won a ruling from a federal judge in Austin, Texas, forcing the workers in that case to pursue their claims in closed-door arbitration instead of in open court.
Musk called that suit “trivial.”
“We will now see if he is going to continue to thumb his nose at the laws of this country that protect employees,” Liss-Riordan said to Bloomberg. “It appears that he’s repeating the same playbook of what he did at Tesla.”