A California federal judge, Susan Illston, has made a significant decision in a lawsuit accusing X, the social media service formerly known as Twitter, of age discrimination during a round of mass layoffs. The lawsuit, filed by John Zeman as a proposed class action, alleged that older workers were disproportionately affected when Elon Musk acquired the company last year. In response to X's attempt to dismiss the case, Judge Illston ruled that there was enough evidence to suggest that the layoffs had a more significant impact on older employees, allowing the case to proceed.
Zeman, the plaintiff, claimed that X laid off 60% of workers aged 50 or older and nearly three-quarters of those over 60, while only 54% of employees under 50 were let go. This disparity in the treatment of older workers forms the basis of the "disparate impact" claims brought forward under federal law. Although the judge dismissed the claim that X intentionally targeted older workers for layoffs, Zeman was given a month to amend the lawsuit to provide more substantial evidence to support this particular claim.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, Zeman's lawyer, expressed satisfaction with the court's decision, stating, "This decision validates the arguments we are making that the discrimination claims can go forward." X, however, did not respond to requests for comment regarding the lawsuit.
This case is just one of several lawsuits that X is currently facing in relation to the mass layoffs initiated by Elon Musk last November. Among the various claims against the company are allegations of inadequate advance notice for layoffs and the forced resignation of workers with disabilities due to a lack of remote work options. Additionally, at least two lawsuits assert that X owes former employees a minimum of $500 million in severance pay. Twitter, now operating under the name X, has denied any wrongdoing in these cases.
It is worth noting that Shannon Liss-Riordan also represents approximately 2,000 former Twitter employees who have filed similar legal claims against the company through arbitration. These ongoing legal battles highlight the discontent and grievances arising from Musk's decision to downsize the workforce significantly. As the lawsuits progress, the outcome will undoubtedly have implications for the social media giant and its treatment of employees during such transitions.
themes: Elon Musk California