Twitter is being sued over recent mass layoffs handed down in the days after billionaire Elon Musk took over the social media company last week, according to court document initially obtained by Bloomberg.com on Thursday.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco lists Twitter as the defendant and alleges that the social media company violated federal and state law requiring 60-day notice before mass layoffs.
Five current or former employees are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including one individual who was notified of his termination on Tuesday (November 1), five days after Musk was initially reported to have taken over the company.
Three other plaintiffs have been locked out of their accounts since Thursday (November 3) without a formal notice of a layoff, which they perceive as a termination.
“Twitter is now engaged in conducting mass layoffs without providing the required notice under the federal WARN Act,” the lawsuit states, referencing the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requiring a 60-day notice for certain plant closings or mass layoffs.
Twitter confirmed it would begin layoffs in “an effort to place Twitter on a healthy plan” in an email sent to NBC News on Thursday.
Musk was reported to have officially taken over Twitter on October 27 amid the terminations of former CEO Parag Agrawal and finance chief Ned Segal.
Vijaya Gadde, who served as the head of the legal policy, trust and safety for the social media company, was also fired, according to the Washington Post.
The reported changes came hours Musk’s deadline to complete his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter set for October 28, which would’ve resulted in a court battle with the social media company had it not been completed.
Musk had initially threatened to walk away from his $44 billion buyout of Twitter earlier this year, accusing the company of providing false information regarding its spam bot accounts, the Associated Press reported.
Musk’s attorneys threatened the social media company in a letter dated June 6 — which Twitter included in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission — and state that Musk had repeatedly asked for information since May 9, about a month after his initial buyout offer, to evaluate how many accounts were fake.
The attorneys accused Twitter had offered to only provide details of its testing methods, which they claimed was “tantamount to refusing Mr. Musk’s data requests.”
In May, Musk revealed his deal to takeover Twitter was “temporarily on hold” while sharing a Reuters article on the social media platform estimating that spam and fake accounts comprise less than 5% of its users.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted early Friday (May 13) morning.
Twitter accepted Musk‘s $44 billion buyout as part of a deal that is expected to close in 2022, the company confirmed in a news release obtained by CNN on April 25.