By Daniel Wiessner
(Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Tuesday was accused by 100 former employees of various legal violations stemming from Elon Musk’s takeover of the company, including targeting women for layoffs and failing to pay promised severance.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer for the workers, said she had filed 100 demands for arbitration against Twitter that make similar claims to four class action lawsuits pending in California federal court.
The workers all signed agreements to bring legal disputes against the company in arbitration rather than court, Liss-Riordan said, which means they will likely be barred from participating in the class actions.
Twitter laid off roughly 3,700 employees in early November in a cost-cutting measure by Musk, who paid $44 billion to acquire the social media platform, and hundreds more subsequently resigned.
The arbitration demands accuse Twitter of sex discrimination, breach of contract, and illegally terminating employees who were on medical or parental leave.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Liss-Riordan said her firm has spoken with hundreds of other ex-Twitter employees and intends to file more legal claims in arbitration on their behalf.
“The conduct of Twitter since Musk took over is incredibly egregious, and we will pursue every avenue to protect workers and extract from Twitter the compensation that is due to them,” she said.
The pending class action lawsuits claim Twitter laid off employees and contractors without the 60 days’ notice required by law, disproportionately laid off women, and forced out workers with disabilities by refusing to allow remote work.
Twitter is also facing at least three complaints filed with a U.S. labor board claiming workers were fired for criticizing the company, attempting to organize a strike, and other conduct protected by federal labor law.
The company has denied violating the law requiring advanced notice and has not yet responded to the other claims.
(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)