New Lawsuit Accuses Elon Musk, Twitter of Gender Discrimination

A class action suit filed by a pair of former Twitter employees in a San Francisco federal court has alleged that Elon Musk’s Twitter layoffs violated state and federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace.

New Lawsuit Accuses Elon Musk, Twitter of Gender Discrimination
Image credit: freebeacon

Facts

  • A class action suit filed by a pair of former Twitter employees in a San Francisco federal court has alleged that Elon Musk’s Twitter layoffs violated state and federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace.
  • In their joint lawsuit, Carolina Bernal Strifling and Willow Wren Turkal claim that Twitter disproportionately targeted women, noting that 57% of female employees were laid off on November 4, compared with 47% of male staff.
  • According to the plaintiffs, the gender bias was starker for engineering roles, where 63% of women staff were laid off compared to 48% of their male counterparts.
  • Shannon Liss-Riordan, Strifling and Turkal’s attorney, has released a statement saying women employees at Twitter had targets on their backs regardless of their talent or contributions. She added that its women staff never had a decent shot at being treated fairly following the Tesla CEO’s takeover.
  • Some of Musk’s previous tweets have been cited as displays of sexism, including a now-deleted post in which he “joked” about starting a new university named Texas Institute of Technology & Science using the acronym “TITS.”
  • This lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal actions taken by former Twitter employees since Musk laid-off a significant proportion of the staff. While the social media firm has denied wrongdoing in the lawsuit — alleging that laid-off employees were given the legally required advance notice — the company has not responded to the charges of gender bias.

Sources: Reuters, Business Insider, Yahoo, Arstechnica, Bloomberg, and Guardian.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by PC Mag. Elon Musk's tweets degrade women on a public platform; Tesla employees endure racial slurs at its California plant; and Twitter algorithms promote content that reinforces stereotypes. The sexist, homophobic, and racial rhetoric of the world's richest man runs counter to Twitter's stated objectives and initiatives on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. As long as Musk is at the helm, gender discrimination will continue to hamper women in STEM.
  • Right narrative, as provided by Federalist. Debating about whether or not Musk himself is sexist distracts from the more crucial questions regarding his takeover of Twitter and the consequences of the acquisition for broader society. The new management of Twitter could see one of the world's largest social media platforms actively reinforcing the First Amendment and tackling the targeted misinformation that it was previously key in spreading. Let's wait until the result of the lawsuit before overemphasizing the claims of this case.

Predictions