Former employees were fired in higher numbers than ever before, weeks after Elon Musk took to Twitter to make what he now says were promises to split from the company.
Lisa Bloom, a well-known Los Angeles-based attorney, announced at a press conference that she is now representing three ex-Twitter employees in arbitration claims, even while nodding to having a ceramic sink. When Elon Musk took over the reins of the company, he made a funny joke.
Elon Musk you broke your promises and you violated the law, we are coming after you, he said at a press conference held at his law offices and streamed online.
Now a New York-based attorney is threatening to bring new arbitration claims on behalf of 22 former employees, a Boston-based attorney has brought three lawsuits and claims before the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of three additional former Twitter employees.
Taken together, these represent a collective new legal front the company must now face, given that Musk has fired more than half of the company’s employees since he took over in late October.
The primary issue is that some employees say they are not receiving severance and compensation levels, including bonuses and stock vesting, prior to the acquisition. Additionally, Bloom delivered an illegal ultimatum to others, asking workers to take a three-month severance deal if they were unwilling to remain as part of Elon Musk’s “hardcore” workforce.
Bloom said Twitter is allegedly violating a federal labor law known as the WARN Act, which requires advance notice of termination before actually separating from the company. If found violating this law, Twitter can be fined up to $500 per day per employee.
These lawyers say that by avoiding the WARN Act and other alleged misdeeds, the company is trying to save tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in cash payments, bonuses, equity, vested stock and other payments.
Last Thursday, a separately fired Twitter employee brought a new case against Twitter before the NLRB, alleging that she was fired on November 17 for organizing a strike against the social media giant that ultimately never happened.
The complaint states that the charging party reached out to several fellow employees and encouraged them to participate in the strike and they helped prepare a ‘strike list’. Immediately after engaging in these activities, on November 14, 2022, without warning and without any specific explanation, the alleging party was terminated from his employment.
The employee whose name was redacted in the document — which was shared with Forbes by her attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan — is the third such ex-Twitter employee to bring charges to the NLRB since Musk’s acquisition in late October. Liss-Riordan has also filed three related lawsuits against Twitter, all filed in federal court in San Francisco, where Twitter is headquartered.
New York-based attorney Akiva Cohen, who says he represents 22 ex-Twitter employees, and is in discussions with hundreds more, sent Musk a stern demand letter, demanding that the new chief executive give clients Provide the full severance Twitter promised them, or face multiple arbitration claims.
Cohen told Forbes that this whole thing is about letting people avoid severance pay because it’s getting them out the door. Cohen said, as a rule, he cannot fire them until a later date, which is the date of their separation. The fact that he can’t do mass layoffs for two months is his problem, it’s not his problem.