Courtney McMillian, the former "head of total rewards" at Twitter, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming that it has failed to pay approximately $500 million in severance pay owed to former employees. The allegations shed light on Twitter's handling of the severance plan and the actions of Elon Musk, the owner of the social media giant.
Lawsuits Multiply as Controversy Surrounding Mass Firings Continues
This legal action marks the latest in a series of lawsuits filed against Twitter regarding the mass firings that occurred following Elon Musk's acquisition of the company for $44 billion last year. The termination of thousands of employees has been met with legal challenges, raising concerns about the treatment of affected staff members.
Severance Plan Falls Short of Expectations, Alleges Lawsuit
Under Twitter's severance plan, employees were entitled to receive a minimum of two months' base salary in severance pay, along with additional benefits such as a cash contribution towards health insurance. The complaint filed in federal court in San Francisco reveals that senior employees, including Courtney McMillian, were slated to receive even more substantial severance packages, consisting of six months' base salary and one week of pay for each full year of experience.
Unfulfilled Promises: Musk's Role in the Alleged Nonpayment
The lawsuit contends that despite these provisions, terminated staff members received no more than three months' pay. This amount included one month of severance pay and an additional two months' worth of pay to comply with the legal requirement of providing notice of firings to workers. However, according to the complaint, this fell significantly short of the $500 million that employees were rightfully owed.
Silence from Twitter as Allegations Persist
Twitter, which no longer maintains a public relations department, has refrained from commenting on the allegations. The company's response, or lack thereof, raises questions about its position on the matter and its commitment to addressing the concerns raised by former employees.
Elon Musk's Statement Raises Doubts
In November, following the wave of mass layoffs, Elon Musk publicly declared that employees would receive three months' worth of pay, which he claimed was "50% more than legally required." However, the lawsuit accuses Musk of misleading employees about the company's commitment to honoring the severance plan. This alleged deception may have influenced some individuals to remain at Twitter for longer periods than they otherwise would have.
Legal Representation Voices Concerns
Kate Mueting, the attorney representing Courtney McMillian from Sanford Heisler Sharp, asserts that Musk made promises to employees, assuring them that Twitter would continue to adhere to the severance plan under his leadership. Mueting suggests that these assurances were essential in preventing mass resignations that could have jeopardized the merger's success and Twitter's overall stability. The attorney's statement implies that Musk's actions may have been driven by self-interest rather than the welfare of the employees affected by the mass layoffs.
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