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Twitter Sued by Fired Contractor for Failing to Give Notice (1)

Nov. 17, 2022, 4:55 PM

Twitter Inc., which fired thousands of employees since being bought by Elon Musk, was sued by a former contractor for failing to give proper notice, final pay and to reimburse his expenses.

Francisco Rodriguez was employed by Twitter through PRO Unlimited Inc, known as Magnit, and fired on Nov. 12, along with potentially 4,400 to 5,500 others, according to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court Wednesday. Rodriguez is seeking to represent all those workers in a class-action lawsuit.

Rodriguez “like potentially thousands of other Twitter employees who were paid through Magnit, received an email on November 12, 2022, stating that he was being laid off, effective November 14, 2022,” his lawyer wrote in the complaint. “Neither Twitter nor Magnit provided full final pay, benefits, and expense reimbursement to these employees on their last day of employment, as required by the California Labor Code. To date, these employees have still not received these full payments.”

The cuts, which included most of Twitter’s senior management, have upset many of the remaining employees. Musk’s changes have also led to a lack of communication internally and concerns about product breakdowns and technical outages, according to current and former staffers.

The failure to give proper notice violates federal and California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as WARN, according to the complaint. The act generally requires at least 60 days of advance notice for mass layoffs at large companies.

Magnit said it couldn’t comment on current litigation.

Rodriguez’s lawyer, Shannon Liss-Riordan had filed a pre-emptive lawsuit Nov. 4, on the eve of the mass layoffs, accusing Twitter of violating the WARN Act. She had filed a similar lawsuit over June layoffs at Musk’s automaker Tesla Inc.

Liss-Riordan said on Wednesday that Twitter agreed to temporarily hold off on distributing severance agreements until the court has heard an emergency motion for a protective order stopping the company from asking the fired workers to sign releases.

“While this is one positive move, make no mistake, Musk continues to put Twitter employees through hell,” Liss-Riordan said in a statement.

The case is Rodriguez v. Twitter Inc. 3:22-cv-7222, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

(Adds Magnit’s response in sixth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Joe Schneider in Los Angeles at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Katia Porzecanski at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net

Joe Schneider, Peter Jeffrey

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.