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California Judge Says Twitter Employees Must Be Informed of Potential Class Action Suit Related to Layoffs District Judge James Donato said it would be "misleading" for laid-off employees to sign away their right to sue Twitter before hearing about the suit in the works.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

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Twitter HQ in San Francisco.

Twitter must inform employees who were let go that a potential class action lawsuit is in the works, a California judge said in an order on Thursday.

Twitter's communication with employees "should not be rendered misleading by omitting material information about a pending lawsuit," the judge wrote, per The Los Angeles Times.

A few Twitter employees are leading what they hope will be a class action suit to take the company to task for failing to give notice about mass layoffs — which is required in California and many other states — and for what they say is it trying to get out of severance agreements.

Donato's order that employees who were laid off need to know about the suit "may be an early indication that the judge could be sympathetic to the employees' argument," as CNN wrote.

The judge asked Twitter to inform its let-go employees about the potential class action because severance agreements include things like promises not to sue the employer for discrimination or wrongful termination, and Twitter has indeed asked proposed a severance deal that gives employees a month of wages for agreeing to not join lawsuits that are against Twitter, per the LA Times.

This particular class action is one of a veritable nest of lawsuits Twitter is facing after laying off half of its workforce last month — from claims that the company laid off more women than men to accusations that its new rules are biased against disabled workers — following the company's acquisition by now world's second-richest-person, Elon Musk.

Shannon Liss-Riordan is involved in all of the above lawsuits and has litigated against Musk before in relation to Tesla layoffs, per the LA Times.

Donato said Twitter employees must be notified with "a succinct and plainly worded notice," in the order.

The Twitter that remains, post-layoffs, has reportedly been chaotic, with Musk demanding in-person work at the previously remote-forward company and demanding that staff be "hardcore" at "Twitter 2.0" or else they could leave, resulting in the departure of thousands of employees.

Related: Elon Musk Slams Twitter Employees With Ultimatum: Prepare to Work 'Extremely Hardcore' or Leave by Thursday

This lawsuit, in particular, is seeking to become a class action (a type of suit that allows many people to join and be awarded damages) but such suits must be certified by a judge before they can become one.

Twitter is seeking to avoid that by moving to force the case into arbitration, saying Twitter employees are bound by agreements already to do so, per Reuters. This means the issue would be settled outside of court.

Donato will hear an argument over whether to push this case into arbitration in January, the LA Times noted.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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