Reuters, February 3 – Following the company’s successful motion to have their class action claims sent to arbitration, hundreds of ex-employees are refusing to arbitrate their legal claims because they are unable to show copies of the employment contracts they signed, according to a court document.
When Twitter attempts to send them to arbitration, Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for more than 1,000 workers who were let go or fired by the company last year, warned that she would be forced to file hundreds of lawsuits merely to get copies of the agreements from Twitter.
Prior to a hearing planned for February 9, Liss-Riordan and Twitter filed a joint document in San Francisco federal court on Thursday to provide the court with an update.
The workers allege that Twitter refuses to pay promised severance or provide them with the needed advance notice of mass layoffs. Twitter disputes these claims.
Several class action litigants were ordered to arbitrate their claims, a federal judge ruled last month. Others did not agree to arbitrate, thus the matter is still pending in court.
In a Friday interview, Liss-Riordan asserted that Twitter is probably attempting to postpone the arbitration cases in the hopes that some employees will withdraw their claims.
She responded, “Twitter is just trying to play a foolish game here. “No one is quitting,”
An inquiry for feedback from Twitter received no response. The company’s attorneys claimed in the filing on Thursday that Liss-Riordan was trying to speed up the arbitration process by withholding some of the agreements.
According to their statement, “it appears evident that Plaintiffs’ counsel rushed to submit more than 1,000 inadequate and insufficient claims for arbitration for the sole goal of leveraging hefty early case management fees against Twitter.”
Additionally, the business stated that it was under no obligation to provide workers with any severance compensation and that the amount it did provide was “generous based on Twitter’s financial situation.”
Companies may have to pay millions of dollars in costs alone in so-called “mass arbitrations,” where hundreds or thousands of people submit comparable individual claims. Plaintiffs’ attorneys have been using this strategy more frequently to fight back against businesses that make their clients or employees sign arbitration agreements.
In connection with the layoffs, Liss-Riordan has sued Twitter three additional times, alleging discrimination against people with disabilities and a bias against women. The business has made an attempt to deny those allegations.
Cornet v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:22-cv-06857, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan is the plaintiffs’ attorney.
Brian Berry of Morgan Lewis & Bockius for Twitter.
by Daniel Wiessner