Over Elon Musk‘s plan to fire thousands of employees, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Twitter. Before the Friday mass layoffs, employees were barred from entering the office and locked out of their company Slack and email accounts.
Bloomberg News reported that the company informed employees that it would be cutting 3,700 jobs, or half of its workforce, on Thursday, prompting the filing of the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco.
It asserts that, in violation of federal and California law, employees were not adequately informed of the massive layoffs.
The social media platform is asked to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), a federal law that requires businesses with 100 or more employees to give 60 days’ notice of mass layoffs or other work disruptions.
According to the news source, the suit also asks the court to prevent Twitter from asking staff members to sign documents that could give up their right to participate in litigation.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, told Bloomberg, “We filed this lawsuit tonight in an attempt to make sure that employees are aware that they should not sign away their rights and that they have an avenue for pursuing their rights.”
Bloomberg sent a request for comment to Twitter, but it did not respond immediately.
The filing comes after employees were informed of the “unfortunate” moves in an alert.
The Washington Post was able to obtain an internal email that informed employees that the firings would begin on Friday as Musk’s takeover of the company continues to reshape workplace culture.
It scolds staffers by stating that an email with the subject line:Your Twitter Role.”
Additionally, the email informed them that no offices would be open.
Business Insider reported that some employees of Twitter also reported being blocked from their company email and Slack accounts late Thursday.
The email stated, “We will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday in an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path.”
“We recognize that this will have an effect on a number of people who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” the company stated.
According to the New York Times, employees began exchanging salutations and heart emojis in their Slack channels when the ominous message arrived in inboxes.
The email was sent just a few days after Musk told his new employees to “work 24/7” to change Twitter’s verification process, which he also plans to announce by Friday.
Under his controversial “Twitter Blue” subscription plan, verified users will have to pay $8 per month to keep their blue check.
Twitter employees have published layoff guides and created online support groups for those facing the axe.
According to the BBC, one employee wrote, “Honestly happy to be laid off, but the veil of Elon Musk is pierced.”
Others voiced their displeasure at being abruptly removed from the company platforms.
One member of staff stated, “This morning I lost access to my Twitter systems without warning, meaning I’m one of the 50% of workforce layoffs from a role I absolutely adored.”
When the electric car maker laid off approximately 10% of its workforce, Liss-Riordan filed a lawsuit against Tesla for similar claims. This was before the company, according to Bloomberg, won a ruling from a federal judge in Austin requiring the workers to pursue their claims in closed-door arbitration rather than open court.
During a conversation with Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait in June, Musk referred to the Tesla lawsuit as “trivial.”
Liss-Riordan told Bloomberg that the richest man in the world is “repeating the same playbook of what he did at Tesla” when it comes to the lawsuit against Twitter.
Liss-Riordan stated, “Now we will see if he is going to continue to thumb his nose at the laws of this country that protect employees.”