Fired Twitter employees urged to drop severance charges, judge says

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc has won a ruling allowing the social media company to force several dismissed workers pursuing their dismissal 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action should be dismissed, however, as he noted, three other former Twitter employees who have alleged that they had withdrawn from the company’s arbitration agreement joined the lawsuit after his first filing.

Last year, Donato ruled that Twitter must notify the thousands of workers who were laid off after it was acquired by Musk following a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the company of failing to give them adequate notice. fire.

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 package.

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

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru and Nate Raymond in Boston, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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