San Francisco, Jan 17 (IANS): A group of sacked Twitter employees has been told by a US judge to drop their class-action lawsuit against the Elon Musk-run micro-blogging platform.
In a ruling, US District Judge James Donato said that the workers must make their case in private arbitration instead, "citing the employment contract they signed with Twitter," reports The Verge.
The lawsuit accused Twitter of not keeping its promise on severance pay package.
Laid-off Twitter employees Emmanuel Cornet, Justine De Caires, Grae Kindel, Alexis Camacho and Jessica Pan sued the company in the class-action lawsuit, alleging that recent layoffs by Twitter violated federal and state laws.
The judge said in the order that the claims of plaintiffs are "ordered to arbitration on an individual basis".
"The effect of this order on the putative class in the second amended complaint will be taken up later as warranted by developments in the case," read the order.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the Twitter employees, posted on Twitter that they "anticipated this and that's why we have already filed 500 individual arbitration demands -- and counting,"
"This is not a win for @elonmusk. Twitter still has to answer claims in court, on top of the arbitration battles," she added.
Twitter CEO Musk initially promised three months of severance pay but several employees, who were sacked, claimed they only received one-month pay in addition to the two months of non-working pay they also received in compliance with the US WARN Act.
The lawsuit argued that they should receive at least two months of pay (as was Twitter's policy before Musk took over), along with non-working pay.
According to the ruling, Twitter's contract "expressly" states that arbitration isn't mandatory.
"Twitter provided signed copies of the agreements, and they are all clear and straightforward," read the ruling.