By Daniel Wiessner
– Twitter Inc has asked a federal judge to toss out a proposed class action claiming the company targeted female employees during its recent mass layoffs, saying the plaintiffs failed to identify any actual discrimination.
Twitter said the December lawsuit fails to allege that company managers who decided which workers would lose their jobs used discriminatory criteria or made comments showing bias against women, in a filing in San Francisco federal court on Thursday.
Twitter laid off about 3,700 workers in November after the company was acquired by Elon Musk. The lawsuit claims the company axed 57% of its female workers compared to 47% of men.
But the complaint “does nothing but quote a few stray tweets from Elon Musk that have no tie to the [layoffs] or any employment policy or practice at Twitter,” the company’s lawyers wrote in the motion.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents the plaintiffs, said Twitter’s claims lack merit.
“We have a very serious case of sex discrimination based on a combination of striking statistical disparities between the proportion of women and men who were laid off, as well as clearly biased views of the company’s new owner, Elon Musk,” Liss-Riordan said in an email.
Liss-Riordan has filed three other lawsuits against Twitter stemming from the layoffs, including claims that the company did not give workers the advance notice required by law and failed to pay promised severance.
A San Francisco federal judge last week sent the lawsuit involving advance notice to individual arbitration.
Liss-Riordan has also filed arbitration demands making similar claims on behalf of 1,000 former Twitter employees.
The case is Strifling v. Twitter Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 4:22-cv-07739.