Elon Musk and his Twitter found themselves in a new legal battle when two women sued them for discriminatory layoff. The recent layoff disproportionately targeted women after he made several publicly discriminatory remarks about women.
The Tesla owner took over the company in late October, and days after, on November 4, he told half of its employees (majorly women) that they no longer had a job but would get three months’ severance.
Two of the affected women, Carolina Bernal and Willow Wren Turkal claimed in a lawsuit that females were purposefully singled out for termination after the multi-billionaire took over the company.
The lawsuit was filed by prominent Boston workers’ rights attorney Shannon Liss-Riordon, also known for her class action suits against companies like Uber and Starbucks. In a statement, she said women had targets on their backs after Elon Musk bought the social media company for $44 billion.
The Impact Of Mass Termination
The complaints read that despite female contributions to the platform Twitter massively terminated the female employees with a highly statistically significant degree.
And these disparities are not random, the statistics were analyzed by an economics specialist Mark Killingsworth who revealed that this distribution in layoffs by sex is 7.3491 standard deviations away from a normal distribution.
Musk’s public discriminatory remarks about women confirmed that the mass termination greatly impacted the female employees resulting from discrimination.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Liss Riordon, who ran an unsuccessful Democratic primary campaign for Massachusetts attorney general earlier this year said outside the courthouse before the hearing that she wanted to show that no one is above the law, not even the multi-billionaire or the richest man in the world.
She further continued that Musk and Twitter think that they will never be held accountable in court. And they are arguing that the arbitration agreements (signed by Twitter staff) are not enforceable. But if they have to go through arbitration one by one, then they are ready to do that.
The lawsuit filed on Wednesday in San Francisco federal court alleges that 57 percent of female employees were laid off compared to fewer than half of male employees, around 47 percent. And women in engineering-related roles have a higher number of laid off.
Around 63 percent of women were fired compared to 48 percent of men in the same sector. The spreadsheet also cites that Twitter also employed more men overall before the layoffs, which means that female staff had a target on their back since the beginning.
According to the filing with securities regulators at the start of the year, the social media company had around 7,500 employees globally. And now the San Francisco-based company has not revealed how many are still working. It also has not commented on the new lawsuit about discrimination laid off against it.
Another employee, Sinead McSweeny, Twitter’s global vice president, filed a suit after she was fired as she did not respond to Musk’s email demanding that “workers be extremely hardcore.”
The mail that said- workers must “work long hours at high intensity” or resign with severance pay forced several disabled workers to quit.
In Ireland, McSweeny has been fighting the company in court to get her job back, and last week, she won a temporary injunction preventing Twitter from firing her. However, when she found her access pass not working when she tried to enter the Dublin office. Publicly, she felt humiliated when the security made her wait till they verified with human resources if she was still an employee.
There are other lawsuits against the company claiming that laid-off workers were not given legally required advance notice and did not receive company-promised severance pay.