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Musk prevails against ex-Twitter employees in $500m severance dispute.

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Musk prevails against ex-Twitter employees in $500m severance dispute.

A US judge has dismissed a case brought by former Twitter employees against billionaire Elon Musk, who they accused of unlawfully denying approximately $500 million in severance payments owed to workers let go after his acquisition of the company. The employees failed to prove that their claims were protected by federal law, according to Judge Trina Thompson. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in 2022 led to significant changes, including the termination of numerous staff members, resulting in multiple lawsuits from former employees and vendors alleging non-payment of promised compensation.

One of the plaintiffs, Courtney McMillian, who previously served as the “head of total rewards” at Twitter (renamed X by Musk), filed the complaint in 2023, claiming that the company provided inadequate severance benefits despite earlier promises. Musk’s legal team argued that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not apply in this case. The judge’s ruling favored Musk, much to the disappointment of McMillian’s team, who are contemplating their next steps. Though this case has been dismissed, other legal disputes regarding unpaid wages and severance benefits from Musk’s Twitter takeover are still ongoing in different courts.

Judge Thompson pointed out in her decision that while this particular case lacked jurisdiction, there are other avenues for the workers to pursue their claims. Despite the setback in this lawsuit, the opportunity still exists for former employees to seek redress in other ongoing legal battles involving Twitter’s failure to fulfill its financial obligations to its dismissed staff. The ruling serves as a reminder that legal battles stemming from Musk’s acquisition of Twitter continue to unfold, with the outcome of each case shaping the narrative of corporate responsibility and accountability in the tech industry.

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