Many people believed that Musk’s widespread staff cuts badly reduced the number of women on Twitter staff in photos taken before and after the company’s mass layoffs. Women who were laid off by Twitter have now lodged a class-action lawsuit, accusing that Musk violated labour laws by firing far more women than men.
“Women at Twitter never really had a decent shot at being treated fairly once Elon Musk went to buy the company,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney representing the women suing, said in a press statement provided to Ars. “Instead, they had targets on their backs, and regardless of their talent or contributions, they were more likely than men to lose their jobs.”
Carolina Bernal Strifling, of Miami, who worked at Twitter for seven years, and Willow Wren Turkal, of California, who joined Twitter in 2021 after four years at Facebook and LinkedIn, are the lead plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. They are suing Twitter “on their own behalf and on behalf of other female Twitter employees worldwide who have been fired or constructively fired from their jobs during the chaotic weeks since multibillionaire Elon Musk purchased the company.”
According to their complaint, “57 percent of female workers were laid off on November 4, 2022, while 47 percent of male workers were laid off,” citing calculations provided by Mark Killingsworth, an economics professor at Rutgers University.
According to the complaint, this disparity “cannot be explained based on a justification that Musk meant to retain more employees in engineering-related roles.” According to Killingsworth, Musk terminated 63 percent of female engineering-related employees and 48 percent of male engineering-related employees.
The women are seeking unspecified damages for lost wages, benefits, bonuses, and equity. They also want Twitter to reinstate female employees who wish to return to work. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
I was trying to put my finger on why this makes my skin crawl. Perhaps it’s because it’s by one of the most powerful men in the world. Perhaps it’s due to how rife sexual harassment is in academia. Perhaps it’s because if I’m bothered by it, it’ll be met with “it’s just a joke”. pic.twitter.com/ygkm0wik4k
— Dr Zoë Ayres (@ZJAyres) October 30, 2021
Twitter has been accused of laying off more female employees than male employees, a class-action lawsuit alleges. The suit also alleges that Twitter violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. On the same day, disabled employees and employees taking family or medical leave hit by layoffs also filed a class action suit.
According to the complaint, Twitter laid off “approximately 60%” of employees who were on family or medical leave on November 4th. They are requesting that the court award damages and order Twitter to take back disabled employees who wish to return to work with reasonable accommodations. A jury trial has also been requested by the employees.