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Another WARN complaint Hurled at Twitter

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A recent class action complaint filed by a former Twitter employee is just one of many WARN lawsuits Twitter is facing.

San Francisco, CAA former Twitter employee has filed a California labor complaint accusing the social media platform of violating the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the California WARN Act and the California labor code by failing to give workers requisite notice of companywide layoffs.

Plaintiff Eitan Adler’s complaint claims that Twitter did not give 60 days advance written notice to all employees who were being laid off, as required by the federal WARN Act, and for employees in California, the California WARN Act. Nor were all affected employees given pay in substitution for federal or California or WARN Act notice. Further, “For employees who were not given advance notice of their layoff, including Plaintiff, Twitter also did not provide full final pay, benefits, and expense reimbursement on their last day of employment, as required by the California Labor Code.”

According to Adler’s LinkedIn profile, the software engineer worked full-time at Twitter for 7 years and 6 months. He was laid off on November 15, 2022. Adler states in his complaint that he did not receive 60 days’ advance written notice required by the federal WARN Act and the California WARN Act. Nor did he receive pay in lieu of notice. Additionally, Adler brings a claim “pursuant to the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) on behalf of the state of California and all other similarly situated aggrieved employees in California”. California's PAGA allows Golden State workers to sue on behalf of themselves, other workers and the state for state labor law violations.


As of April 13— when Adler’s complaint was filed -- more than 75% of Twitter employees have been laid off. “While Twitter provided the required notice under the federal and California WARN Acts to many of the employees it was laying off, it did not provide notice to numerous others, including Plaintiff,” states his complaint. Adler’s lawyer, Shannon Liss-Riordan told Law360 that this case is one of the eight lawsuits her firm has filed against Twitter over its mass layoffs and that this lawsuit is distinct from previous suits, because Adler opted out of Twitter's arbitration agreement with workers and he asserts PAGA claims. Liss-Riordan added that roughly 1,700 former Twitter employees are currently arbitrating their WARN claims and some other claims over severance against Twitter, and as of January 2023 her firm had filed 500 individual arbitrations against Twitter. She told Law360 that "Arbitration is going to be far more costly and time-consuming to defend than a class action,” and that the litigation “might not be about the money for [Musk], but it is about money for the people he owes it to.”  

The case is Eitan Adler v. Twitter Inc. et al., case number 3:23-cv-01788 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  

Five other cases, which are also pending, have been filed in the same San Francisco federal court. They include claims that accuse Twitter of targeting female workers for layoffs and discriminating against employees with disabilities. And some former employees have filed complaints against the platform with a U.S. labor board claiming they were fired for criticizing the company, attempting to organize a strike, and other conduct protected by federal labor law, according to Reuters.

Mass Layoffs

Twitter has gone from about 8,000 employees to about 2,000 since Musk took over the company. Adler’s complaint states that, “In April 2022, it was announced that multi-billionaire Elon Musk would be purchasing the company. Following Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter in late October 2022, Musk immediately began a mass layoff that has affected well more than half of Twitter’s workforce.”

The New York Times on February 23 reported that the wave of recent layoffs came after a week when the company made it difficult for Twitter employees to communicate with each other. Numerous current and former employees told the Times that the company’s internal messaging service, Slack, was taken offline, preventing them from chatting with each other or looking up company data. And techmonitor reported that Elon Musk is laying off another 200 jobs from the current 2,300 headcount that resulted after a mass layoff in early November that saw 3,700 employees leave the company. Musk blamed the move on Twitter experiencing a “massive drop in revenue” due to advertisers pulling away over concerns around content moderation changes.


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