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Former Twitter employees protest over sacking of more women
Two women who lost their jobs after Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter have sued the company.
The former employees alleged that the layoffs disproportionately affected female employees.
The world’s richest person immediately fired Twitter’s top executives when he took over in October, and a week later, fired half the company’s 7,500 staff members. Those fired include chief executive Parag Agrawal; chief financial officer, Ned Segal, and head of legal policy, trust and safety, Vijaya Gadde.
The reported firings follow news that Musk planned to eliminate nearly 75% of Twitter’s staff in an effort to pay down the company’s debt. Musk later dismissed those reports, telling employees he would not cut such a large portion of the staff.
He subsequently told those remaining that they would need to work at “high intensity”.
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” he said in a message.
“This will mean long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
Twitter has however been accused by the two plaintiffs of violating both federal and California laws banning sex discrimination in the workplace.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said women at the company “had targets on their backs” once the billionaire finally closed his deal for Twitter after months of trying to get out of it.
Liss-Riordan also represents a string of former and current Twitter employees in three other pending lawsuits filed in the same court.
The lawsuit alleges that those requirements disproportionately affected women “who are more often caregivers for children and other family members, and thus not able to comply with such demands.”
According to the report, the suit, filed for former employees Carolina Bernal Strifling and Willow Wren Turkal, claims 57 per cent of female employees were laid off on November 4, compared to 47 per cent of male employees, citing a spreadsheet.