By Daniel Wiessner
(Reuters) – Twitter Inc has been hit with another lawsuit stemming from the recent purging of half its workforce, this one accusing the social media company of disproportionately targeting female employees for layoffs.
The proposed class action filed late on Wednesday in San Francisco federal court said that after Twitter was taken over by Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, it laid off 57% of its female workers compared to 47% of men.
Twitter laid off roughly 3,700 employees in early November in a cost-cutting measure by Musk, and hundreds more subsequently resigned.
The gender disparity was more stark for engineering roles, where 63% of women lost their jobs compared to 48% of men, according to the new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed by two women who were laid off by Twitter last month accuses the company of violating federal and California laws banning workplace sex discrimination.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said women “had targets on their backs” once Musk acquired the company, regardless of their talent and contributions.
Liss-Riordan represents current and former Twitter employees in three other pending lawsuits filed in the same court since last month.
Those cases include various claims, including that Twitter laid off employees and contractors without the advance notice required by law and failed to pay promised severance, and that Musk forced out workers with disabilities by refusing to allow remote work and calling on employees to be more “hardcore.”
At least three workers have separately filed complaints against Twitter with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board claiming they faced retaliation for advocating for better working conditions.
Twitter has denied wrongdoing in the lawsuit involving advance notice, and has not responded to the other complaints.
(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York, Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Bill Berkrot)