A trio of former Twitter employees are taking legal action against the Elon Musk-led company – alleging the billionaire “job killer” stiffed them on promised severance benefits following a sweeping round of layoffs.
The former employees — Helen Sage-Lee, Adrian Trejo Nuñez and Amir Shevat – have tapped celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom and filed individual arbitration claims against Twitter.
The ex-workers accused Musk of overseeing a cruel layoff process that ended in a severance plan that fell short of what had been promised prior to the billionaire’s acquisition.
“I’m here today because Twitter has been trying to maneuver out of owing all of us the full severance that was promised to us prior to the acquisition,” Sage-Lee said at a press conference on Monday. “Elon, you believe that Twitter 2.0 is the Twitter you are trying to build. I disagree. Twitter 2.0 is the half you laid off.”
“Many of us are willing to take legal action,” Sage-Lee added.
The Post has reached out to Twitter for comment.
Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500-employee global workforce in early November as Musk enacted a drastic cost-cutting plan. Employees impacted by the layoffs included some who were several months pregnant.
On Nov. 4, Musk said employees who lost their jobs as part of “Twitter’s reduction in force” would be “offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.”
Bloom asserted that Musk had broken an “enforceable promise” requiring severance benefits to match those offered under previous management. The attorney said the laid-off workers are being “deprived” of lost benefits including prorated bonus payments and vested stock options.
Musk’s Twitter has provided a “lack of clarity” about their severance benefits, including whether payments will continue if employees find new work, Bloom added.
At one point in the press conference, Bloom stood up from her seat and theatrically lifted an actual sink from a cardboard box – mirroring Musk’s own move to carry a sink into Twitter’s corporate headquarters in late October before closing the $44 billion deal.
“He said, ‘I own Twitter now, let that sink in’ – like it was all a big joke,” Bloom said. “That was the beginning of the end of fair treatment for Twitter employees.”
Bloom described Musk as a “job killer” whose layoffs at Twitter were “especially cruel.” She added that her law firm represents a “large group of Twitter workers and contractors” who will file claims against Twitter.
“We will continue to file these cases one by one, bombarding Twitter with claims,” Bloom added. She alleged that Twitter had “tricked” its employees into signing onboarding contracts that prevent them from joining class-action lawsuits.
The arbitration claims are the latest sign of a brewing legal storm around Musk’s controversial Twitter takeover.
Last month, Twitter was slapped with a class-action lawsuit alleging Musk had violated labor laws by failing to provide adequate notice before handing out the pink slips.
Musk enacted the layoffs as part of a sweeping overhaul of Twitter’s operations. Last month, he said the cuts were unavoidable because Twitter was losing $4 million per day and faced bankruptcy without a turnaround.
Later, Musk required remaining employees to “opt in” to an agreement to adopt a hardcore work culture that included long hours in the office. Hundreds more employees reportedly departed the company after the ultimatum was delivered.
Meanwhile, Twitter has reportedly added some “bedrooms” to its office as it pushes employees to dedicate more of their time to work.
Credit: Source link