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Austin labor lawyer shares insight into massive Twitter layoffs

Reports state that 50% of the workforce was laid off on Friday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Thousands of Twitter employees from around the country were laid off Friday after Elon Musk took over as the new owner.

"Really sad day for families across the country and families in Austin, with folks working at Twitter. The news is that 50% of the workforce was laid off in one shot," said Austin Kaplan, a local labor attorney.

Kaplan said he spoke with some of the people who were laid off and added that Twitter employees were notified about the layoffs via email. A total of 3,700 employees were laid off.

"It’s one of the biggest tech layoffs we have seen since the last recession," Kaplan said. "They are like anyone else, they have kids, mortgages. People are not necessarily preparing for this."

Kaplan said a lawsuit has already been filed against Twitter, but not by his firm.

"It was filed at midnight for a WARN Act and only against Twitter the company," Kaplan said.

A WARN Act says that, in certain cases, a company must give a 60-day notice. But Kaplan does not believe that will stand.

"What the company actually did was provide a notice period to continue working without responsibility," Kaplan said. "All Twitter employees, as I understand it, will be permitted to stay on the books and receive pay and benefits until January."

However, Kaplan added that there are still questions about employees' severance and they are looking into possible litigation for other matters against Twitter and Elon Musk.

"We are looking into discrimination against gender, race, age, any of these protected categories in terms of who is in the reduction," Kaplan said.

There are reports that there could be more tech layoffs and a hiring freeze at companies. When it comes to layoffs overall at any company, Kaplan said to know your rights.

Musk tweeted a response to those discussing the layoffs:

"Regarding Twitter's reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day," the tweet states. "Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required."

Kaplan Law also tweeted a response to Musk.

"This is fake news. Do NOT sign the arbitration agreement until you talk with a lawyer FIRST! Tell a friend...," it said.

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