US Judge Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit Accusing X of Age Bias in 2022 Layoffs

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
2 Min Read

Discrimination Claims Upheld A federal judge in California has rejected a motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing X, formerly known as Twitter, of discriminating against older employees during layoffs after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company last year. The judge, Susan Illston, ruled that the plaintiff, John Zeman, had presented enough evidence to continue pursuing the case, as he claimed that X disproportionately laid off older workers.

Disparate Impact Claims Validated Judge Illston ruled that federal age bias laws allow plaintiffs to bring “disparate impact” claims as part of a class action. This decision addresses a contentious issue that has divided courts.

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Claims to Be Further Detailed While the judge dismissed the claim that X intentionally targeted older workers for layoffs, she gave Zeman a month to amend the lawsuit to provide more details regarding this allegation.

Lawyer’s Perspective Shannon Liss-Riordan, Zeman’s lawyer, expressed satisfaction with the decision, stating that it validates their argument that the discrimination claims can proceed.

X’s Response X did not provide a comment in response to the ruling.

Ongoing Legal Battles for X This lawsuit is one of several that X is facing as a result of Elon Musk’s decision to lay off approximately half of Twitter’s workforce in November. These cases include various allegations, such as X failing to provide advance notice for layoffs and Musk pressuring workers to adopt a more demanding work culture.

Severance Pay Disputes At least two lawsuits claim that X owes former employees a total of at least $500 million in severance pay. Twitter has denied any wrongdoing in these cases.

Additional Legal Claims Shannon Liss-Riordan is also representing around 2,000 former Twitter employees who have filed similar legal claims against the company through arbitration.

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