Twitter has this week been accused by 100 former staffers of various legal violations stemming from Elon Musk’s controversial takeover of the company.

The allegations against Twitter include targeting women disproportionately during Elon Musk’s brutal culling of the workforce, and failing to pay promised severance packages.

Earlier this week Elon Musk confirmed he will resign as CEO for the platform when he can find a “foolish enough” replacement, after he lost a poll asking if he should remain in charge of Twitter.

Image credit: Elon Musk

Chaotic leadership

Musk it should be remembered has axed 50 percent of Twitter’s internal workforce – 3,700 of its 7,500 workforce – dissolved its board of directors, and fired senior management – prompting a mass exodus of executives from the platform.

Hundreds more of Twitter’s remaining staff resigned after refusing to agree to Musk’s hardcore ultimatium that includes staff having to work very long hours and sleep at the office.

Musk also then fired nearly all of Twitter’s external contractors responsible for content moderation on the platform.

Musk also engaged in a very public spat with veteran Twitter engineer Eric Frohnhoefer who publicly disagreed with him.

Musk then fired him.

Arbitration complaints

Now Reuters has reported Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer for the workers, as saying that she has filed 100 demands for arbitration against Twitter that make similar claims to four class action lawsuits pending in California federal court.

The former Twitter workers all signed agreements to bring legal disputes against the company in arbitration rather than court, Liss-Riordan said, which means they will likely be barred from participating in the class actions.

According to Reuters, the arbitration allegations accuse Twitter of sex discrimination, breach of contract, and illegally terminating employees who were on medical or parental leave.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.

Liss-Riordan said her firm has spoken with hundreds of other ex-Twitter employees and intends to file more legal claims in arbitration on their behalf.

“The conduct of Twitter since Musk took over is incredibly egregious, and we will pursue every avenue to protect workers and extract from Twitter the compensation that is due to them,” she reportedly said.

Twitter lawsuits

The pending class action lawsuits meanwhile claim Twitter laid off staff and contractors without the 60 days’ notice required by law, disproportionately laid off women, and forced out workers with disabilities by refusing to allow remote work.

Reuters noted that Twitter is also facing at least three complaints filed with a US labour board claiming workers were fired for criticising the company, attempting to organise a strike, and other conduct protected by federal labour law.

Twitter has denied violating the law requiring advanced notice, and has not yet responded to the other claims, Reuters reported.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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