Notify terminated Twitter employees of potential class action lawsuit

Twitter must inform employees who were let go that a potential class action lawsuit is in the works, a California judge said in an order Thursday.



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Twitter HQ in San Francisco.

Twitter’s communications with employees “should not be made misleading by omitting material information about a pending lawsuit,” the judge wrote, per Los Angeles Times.

A few Twitter employees are leading what they hope will be a class-action lawsuit to take the company to task for failing to give notice of mass layoffs — required in California and many other states — and for what they say is trying to get out of severance agreements.

Donato’s order that laid-off employees need to know about the lawsuit “may be an early indication that the judge may be sympathetic to the employees’ argument,” CNN wrote.

The judge asked Twitter to inform its employees of the potential class action because severance agreements include things like promises not to sue the employer for discrimination or wrongful termination, and Twitter has actually asked for a proposed severance agreement that gives employees a month’s pay for agreeing not to participate in lawsuits which is against Twitter, according to LA Times.

This particular class action is one of a veritable nest of lawsuits Twitter is facing after laying off half of its workforce last month — from claims that the company laid off more women than men to accusations that its new rules are biased against disabled workers — after the company’s acquisition by now the world’s second richest person, Elon Musk.

Shannon Liss-Riordan is involved in all of the above lawsuits and has sued Musk in the past in relation to Tesla layoffs, according to LA Times.

Donato said Twitter employees must be notified with “a concise and clearly worded notice,” in the order.

The Twitter that remains, after layoffs, has reportedly been chaotic, with Musk demanding personal work at the formerly remote company and demanding that staff be “hardcore” on “Twitter 2.0” or face leaving, resulting in the departure of thousands of employees.

Related: Elon Musk Slams Twitter Employees With Ultimatum: Prepare to Work ‘Extremely Hardcore’ or Quit by Thursday

This lawsuit, in particular, is seeking to become a class action (a type of lawsuit that allows many people to join and be awarded damages), but such lawsuits must be certified by a judge before they can become one.

Twitter is trying to avoid this by moving the case to arbitration, saying Twitter employees are bound by agreements that already do so, according to Reuters. This means that the case will be settled out of court.

Donato will hear an argument about whether this case should be sent to arbitration in January LA Times noted.

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