Fired Twitter workers can’t pursue claims through class-judge action

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc has won a ruling allowing the social media company to force several dismissed workers pursuing their dismissals to pursue their claims through individual arbitration rather than a class action.

U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled on Friday that five former Twitter employees suing a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the company of failing to give adequate notice before firing them after it was acquired by Elon Musk should pursue their claims in private arbitration. .

Donato granted Twitter’s request to force the five ex-employees to pursue their claims individually, citing agreements they signed with the company.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The San Francisco judge left for another day “as developments in the case warrant” if the entire class action should be dismissed, however, as he noted, three other former Twitter employees who have alleged that they had withdrawn from the company’s arbitration agreement joined the lawsuit after his first filing.

The attorney representing the plaintiffs, Shannon Liss-Riordan, said Monday that she had already filed 300 arbitration claims on behalf of former Twitter employees and would likely file hundreds more.

These workers all claim they did not receive the full severance package promised by Twitter before Musk took over. Some also alleged discrimination based on gender or disability.

Last year, Donato ruled that Twitter must notify the thousands of workers laid off after it was acquired by Musk following a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the company of not giving enough notice before laying them off.

The judge said that before asking workers to sign severance agreements waiving their ability to sue the company, Twitter must give them “a succinct and clearly worded notice.”

Twitter laid off around 3,700 employees in early November as part of a cost-cutting move by Musk, and hundreds more subsequently quit.

In December last year, Twitter was also accused by dozens of former employees of various legal violations stemming from Musk’s takeover of the company, including targeting women for layoffs and not not paying the promised severance pay.

Twitter is also facing at least three complaints filed with a US labor board alleging workers were fired for criticizing the company, attempting to stage a strike and other behaviors protected under federal labor law. .

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru, Nate Raymond in Boston and Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York, Editing by Angus MacSwan and Deepa Babington)

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