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Two women sue Twitter claiming female staff unfairly targeted during layoffs

San FranciscoEdited By: Anamica SinghUpdated: Dec 09, 2022, 04:57 PM IST
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Twitter says it did no wrong in matters involving advance notice. Photograph:(Reuters)

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The suit filed on Wednesday in San Francisco federal court says that Twitter laid off 57 per cent of its female workers compared with 47 per cent of men.

Two women who were laid off from Twitter during the mass firings after Elon Musk took over are suing the platform on the grounds that female employees were disproportionately targeted while making the job cuts. Notably, Musk removed roughly 3,700 employees from the company's workforce and many more later resigned. He faced severe flak for his decision to cut the job force so drastically.

The suit filed on Wednesday in San Francisco federal court says that Twitter laid off 57 per cent of its female workers compared with 47 per cent of men. It further said that for engineering roles, the difference was even bigger with 63 per cent women losing their jobs compared to 48 per cent of men. 

The lawsuit alleged that the company violated federal and California laws banning workplace sex discrimination. 

“It’s not a huge surprise unfortunately that women were hit so hard by these layoffs when Elon Musk was overseeing these incredibly ad hoc layoffs just in a matter of days,” Liss-Riordan said at a press conference in San Francisco.

One of the plaintiffs, Wren Turkal, said she had “never seen anything like this”. 

“I have a family, I have a kid to support. All that we’re looking for is fairness. I’m also worried about my friends who are financially in a difficult position or are in a difficult position for visa reasons," Turkal said at the press conference.

Liss-Riordan also represents other Twitter employees in three other pending lawsuits filed in the same court.

Claims in these suits include the company laying off employees and contractors without any advance notice required by law, failing to pay promised severance, and Musk forcing out workers with disabilities by refusing to allow remote work and calling on employees to be more “hardcore”.

Three other employees have also filed complaints with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming they faced retaliation for advocating for better working conditions.

Liss-Riordan has also filed complaints with the NLRB on behalf of employees who claim were raising their voice against the policies Musk was implementing after the takeover. 

“It’s very clear that this company is doing all it can to disrupt worker organizing and that’s also illegal,” she said.

Twitter says it did no wrong in matters involving advance notice. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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