Twitter is facing a class action lawsuit brought by former employee Courtney McMillian, alleging that the company has withheld severance payments from numerous workers who were laid off after the acquisition by billionaire Elon Musk. The Twitter lawsuit, filed in a federal district court in California, claims that Twitter has failed to disburse at least $500 million to former employees.
McMillian, who previously managed Twitter’s employee benefits program in the human resources department, alleges that the company established a severance program in 2019, guaranteeing two months and one week of severance pay for each full year worked by laid-off employees and six months plus one week for senior employees.
Under the 2022 merger agreement with Musk, Twitter committed to maintaining the severance agreement for a year after the completion of the merger. However, reports indicate that the company has not fulfilled this commitment, with some staff offered only one month of severance pay months after their termination and others not receiving any severance.
Twitter’s response to inquiries about the lawsuit was an automated email containing a poop emoji, consistent with their lack of response since Musk eliminated the company’s press department earlier this year.
Musk had laid off approximately 6,000 individuals from Twitter, which accounts for about 80 percent of the company’s workforce when he took over just nine months ago. While he claimed that the layoffs were necessary, the platform has since experienced bugs, outages, and controversial decisions driven by right-wing sentiments, leading users to abandon the platform in search of alternatives.
This lawsuit is one among several legal and financial issues that have arisen for Twitter in recent months. More than 1,500 former employees have initiated arbitration claims related to severance payments, with another lawsuit alleging that the company is stalling nearly 900 cases by refusing to pay arbitration fees.
In May, another lawsuit linked to alleged unpaid severance payments stated that Musk once declared he would “only pay rent over his dead body,” as claimed by an investor.
If you’ve experienced unfair treatment from your employer or work for a company that does not respect workers’ rights, seek the assistance of California employment attorneys from Labor Law Advocates. We offer a free and confidential consultation.