Elon Musk Wins Lawsuit, Seeking $500 Million for Firing Twitter Employees

X Owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Photo: Apu Gomes (Getty photos)

Elon Musk has won a lawsuit to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of refusing to pay at least $500 million in severance pay to thousands of workers he fired after Twitter acquisition in 2022.

This a lawsuitwhich was filed in U.S. District Court in California in July 2023, argued that about 6,000 laid-off workers were entitled to severance pay under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). However, U.S. District Judge Trina Thompson he ruled On Tuesday, she said that law did not apply to the case and that it did not fall within her jurisdiction.

The lawsuit is one of several brought against Twitter, now renamed X, and Musk by former employees. Several executives, including former CFO Ned Segal and former CEO Parag Agrawal, defendant in Marchclaiming they are owed more than $128 million in severance pay. Former Chief Financial Officer Robert Kaiden filed a lawsuit last month accusing Musk of failing to pay severance pay of more than $3.75 million.

The lawsuit dismissed Tuesday was filed by Courtney McMillian, who oversaw pay and benefits for Twitter, and Ronald Cooper, chief operating officer. Twitter’s severance plan was to include “at least” two months of base salary, performance bonuses and other benefits, according to the lawsuit. But the plaintiffs said Twitter offered the laid-off workers only one month of salary in severance, with no benefits.

Thompson wrote that ERISA cannot apply to the case because there is no “ongoing administrative scheme,” noting that the company told employees that all laid-off workers would receive only cash payments. The judge said that employees laid off as part of Twitter’s mass layoffs in 2022 and 2023 can amend their complaint based on claims that are not covered by ERISA.