(Reuters) – Twitter Inc has obtained a ruling allowing the social media company to force several laid-off employees suing their layoffs to file their claims through individual arbitration rather than a class action lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled Friday that five former Twitter employees pursuing a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the company of not being given adequate notice after the Elon Musk acquisition before firing them must file their claims in private arbitration.
Donato granted Twitter’s request to force the five former employees to file their claims individually, citing agreements they signed with the company.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The San Francisco judge left for another day “as warranted by the developments in the case” or the entire class action lawsuit should be dismissed, though he noted that three other former Twitter employees who claimed they had withdrawn from the company’s arbitration agreement, have joined the lawsuit after it was first filed.
Last year, Donato had ruled that Twitter must inform the thousands of employees laid off following the Musk acquisition following a proposed class action accusing the company of failing to provide timely notice before terminating them.
The judge said that before asking employees to sign termination agreements relinquishing their ability to sue the company, Twitter must give “a concise and clearly worded notice.”
Twitter laid off about 3,700 employees in early November as Musk’s cost-cutting measure, and hundreds more subsequently resigned.
Last December, Twitter was also accused by dozens of former employees of various legal violations stemming from Musk’s takeover of the company, including targeting women for layoffs and failing to pay promised severance payments.
Twitter is also facing at least three complaints filed with a U.S. labor board alleging employees were fired for criticizing the company, attempting to stage a strike, and other conduct protected by federal labor law.
(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru and Nate Raymond in Boston, editing by Angus MacSwan)