Twitter asks court to dismiss layoff discrimination lawsuit

Twitter has denied breaking laws requiring advance notice of layoffs.

San Francisco:

Twitter Inc has asked a federal judge in California to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk authorized employees to return to the office and “work long hours and intensely” to discriminate against disabled workers.

Lawyers for Twitter filed a motion late Wednesday to dismiss the November lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs did not allege any of the company’s actions targeted or disproportionately affected people with disabilities.

Twitter laid off about 3,700 workers in early November as a cost-cutting measure in a $44 billion acquisition of the company by Musk, who is also Tesla’s chief executive. Hundreds more resigned after he asked staff to be “very stubborn” or resign.

The lawsuit says Musk’s ultimatum violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities.

The plaintiffs are a senior engineering manager who still works at Twitter and an engineer who said he was fired last month. They claim that many of Twitter’s disabled employees were forced to resign because they could not return to the office and meet Musk’s demanding standards.

The company said in a Wednesday filing that the current employee signed an agreement to arbitrate work-related legal disputes and asked his claim to be submitted to arbitration.

The company said former employee Dmitry Borodaenko did not represent a class of workers because he was fired before Musk asked employees to commit to longer hours.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan said it was routine for defendants to try to dismiss the case early.

“We will respond in due course, but we stand by the allegations and look forward to holding Twitter and Elon Musk accountable for their poor treatment of employees over the past two months,” she said.

A hearing on Twitter’s motion is scheduled for April.

The lawsuit is one of four pending in the same court over the company’s layoffs. Other cases accuse Twitter of failing to give employees and contractors advance notice of layoffs, failing to pay promised severance packages and disproportionately targeting women for layoffs.

Dozens of former Twitter employees filed a similar lawsuit against the company in arbitration this week.

Twitter has denied violating laws requiring advance notice of layoffs and has not responded to other lawsuits.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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