A federal judge in California has declined to dismiss a lawsuit directed towards social media X.
The once-named Twitter, X faces allegations of disproportionately laying off older employees.
This was following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company last year.
US District Judge Susan Illston’s ruling on Tuesday upheld the plaintiff, John Zeman’s, contention in the proposed class action.
Zeman had presented sufficient evidence to suggest that the widespread layoffs had a more significant impact on the older workforce.
Hence thereby in her view, allowing the case to proceed met the legal requirement of such a case.
-The case filed-
Zeman’s case cited instances where X reportedly laid off 60 per cent of employees aged 50 or above and nearly 75 per cent of those over the age of 60.
In contrast, 54 per cent of their younger counterparts under 50 were however retained.
Judge Illston’s decision was rooted in the United States federal law against age-based workplace discrimination.
-The Law protecting dismissal-
This law permits individuals to initiate “disparate impact” claims collectively in the event of dismissal on the basis of age.
This law has generated differing opinions across legal circuits over the extent of its reach on grounds of layoffs
Nevertheless, the judge dismissed the claim that X deliberately targeted older workers for layoffs.
However, she granted Zeman a one-month window to revise the lawsuit, expanding upon this particular allegation.
The attorney representing Zeman, Shannon Liss-Riordan expressed satisfaction with the ruling, stating, “This decision validates the arguments we are making that the discrimination claims can go forward.”
X is currently facing several cases over Elon Musk’s decision to reduce Twitter’s workforce by approximately 50 per cent.
A bulk of these cases commenced in November of the previous year. The cases encompass various claims, including contentions that X terminated employees and contractors without adhering to mandatory advance notice periods.
Notably, a couple of the lawsuits demand substantial sums – $500 million or more – in severance pay owed to former employees. Twitter has refuted these allegations of misconduct in these specific cases.
Liss-Riordan, the legal representative for Zeman, also serves as the counsel for around 2,000 former Twitter employees.
These employees have filed similar legal actions against the company through arbitration channels.
In brief, This ongoing legal situation continues to shed light on complex issues related to age-based employment practices and worker rights.