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Employees sue Twitter for mass layoffs with zero notice

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Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter has started with a bang. Within just one week after the $44 billion purchase, Musk has fired top executives, announced plans to monetize verification, and now faces a lawsuit for mass layoffs.

Thursday, November 3, a class action lawsuit was filed by Twitter employees after an email was sent out announcing staff cuts from the next day. In all, 3,700 Twitter employees are slated to lose their jobs. Per the lawsuit, Twitter’s short notice violates federal and California labor laws.

Specifically, Musk’s plan conflicts with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. This federal statute prohibits companies with more than 500 employees from issuing mass layoffs without a minimum notice of 60 days. The Twitter workforce is comprised of about 7,500 people.

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan filed the lawsuit, and she had some words for the world’s richest man. “We will now see if (Musk) is going to continue to thumb his nose at the laws of this country that protect employees.” Musk’s Tesla is also facing a similar lawsuit in Nevada after layoffs at a factory.

The email sent out Thursday evening informed employees they would know the fate of their jobs by Friday noon. Those who are not affected will be notified through their Twitter email accounts. Those who are laid off will be notified through personal email accounts.

Even before the layoffs occurred, the email stated that Twitter offices would be closed and all badge access would be suspended. Early Friday morning, some employees tweeted that they could no longer access their work accounts.

The mass layoffs are to compensate for a tremendous drop in advertising revenue after Musk took the helm. Companies fear that content moderation will be much more lenient, and they do not want to be affiliated with the spread of questionable information.

On Friday, as the layoffs were taking place, Volkswagen suggested that its brands ceased advertising on Twitter due to Musk’s actions. According to the automotive giant, “We are closely monitoring the situation and will decide about next steps depending on its evolvement.”

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