A lawsuit was filed against Twitter on Thursday over Elon Musk’s plan to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs at the social media platform, which employees say violates federal and state law requiring 60 days notice of mass layoffs.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco names five current or former workers as plaintiffs, NBC News reports.
One of the plaintiffs was told he was terminated effective Tuesday and three others have been locked out of their Twitter accounts as of Thursday with no formal notice of a layoff, which they interpret to mean they will lose their jobs, according to the lawsuit.
“Twitter is now engaged in conducting mass layoffs without providing the required notice under the federal WARN Act,” the lawsuit says, a reference to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act which requires 60-day notice for certain plant closings or mass layoffs.
In a letter to employees obtained by NBC News, the company said employees would find out by 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time if they had been laid off. The email did not say how many people would lose their jobs.
Several employees tweeted early Friday that they had already lost access to their work accounts.
Twitter’s roughly 7,500 employees have been expecting layoffs since Musk took the helm of the company. Already, the billionaire Tesla CEO has fired top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, on his first day as Twitter’s owner.
He also removed the company’s board of directors and installed himself as the sole board member. On Thursday night, many Twitter employees took to Twitter to express support for each other — often simply tweeting blue heart emojis to signify Twitter’s blue bird logo — and salute emojis in replies to each other.
As of Thursday, Musk and Twitter had given no public notice of the coming layoffs. That’s even though the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification statute requires employers with at least 100 workers to disclose layoffs involving 500 or more employees, regardless of whether a company is publicly traded or privately held.
Barry C. White, a spokesperson for California’s Employment Development Department, said Thursday the agency has not received any recent have not received any recent such notifications from Twitter.
The layoffs come at a tough time for social media companies, as advertisers are scaling back and newcomers — mainly TikTok — are threatening the older class of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Meta Platforms Inc., Facebook’s parent company, recently posted its second quarterly revenue decline in history and its shares are trading at their lowest levels since 2015. Meta’s disappointing results followed weak earnings reports from Google parent Alphabet and even Microsoft.
Source: NBC Bay Area