Just a month after Musk’s Twitter terminated up to 5,500 contractors, former employees said they’re suing over the company’s severance policies.
Former employees Adrian Trejo Nuñez, Amir Shevat, and Helen-Sage Lee said the company violated California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act while handling their dismissal.
A California-based employment lawyer, Rafael Nendel‑Flores, said that Twitter could face a massive amount of arbitration fees as ex-employees could put pressure on Twitter by filing multiple arbitration suits.
This strategy is a legal way of getting around the constraints of a dispute resolution agreement.
When it comes to arbitration processes, the employer is required to pay for them. Even though it’s just a handful of ex-employees right now, Twitter could face hundreds or even thousands of similar cases that would cost Twitter millions in legal fees.
Each arbitration case could cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to Nendel-Flores.
A Collective Legal Front Twitter Must Face
Twitter is shielded from a giant class action suit because all its employees had to sign away their rights to such actions upon taking the job. The dispute resolution agreement that they signed made arbitration the only viable course of action.
This means that any Twitter employee who wants to take legal action against Twitter has to do it individually.
One senior executive managed to get a court relief against layoff, but nearly half the company that faced the ultimatum last month had no choice but to leave.
Twitter has promised severance pay to its employees, but a group of ex-employees claims they’re not receiving anything, which appears to be the primary issue.
Their lawyer, New York-based Akiva Cohen, has notified the company that the former employees will file numerous arbitration claims if they don’t receive what was promised to them by the company.
Nunez, Shevat, and Lee say that the severance offered to them before Musk’s takeover was different. Twitter agreed to keep the fired employees on its payroll as non-working employees until January 4th, only after another group of employees filed a preemptive lawsuit stating that Twitter might violate the WARN Act.
Twitter hasn’t released a statement regarding this development yet. The company no longer employs a communication officer who could comment on the situation either.
Lisa Bloom, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing Nuñez, Shevat, and Lee, says Lee will be the first in a series of ex-Twitter employees to file an arbitration lawsuit against Twitter and that there’s more to follow.