Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has been publicly contentious, from instating mass layoffs to ousting top executives on day one.
Now, scorned former employees are suing the billionaire claiming they’re collectively owed roughly $500 million in unpaid severance.
The class action suit was filed in California on behalf of Courtney McMillian, a former Human Resources executive who oversaw employee benefits at Twitter and was laid off during Musk’s first week at the company.
The lawsuit alleges that workers were set to be paid “two months of their base pay plus one week of pay for each full year of service” upon being laid off, per Reuters, and that senior employees were entitled to six months of base pay.
However, under Musk, laid-off employees are claiming they only received one month of severance pay if anything, as some didn’t even receive any payout.
It’s noted that Twitter is being sued for a federal law violation pertaining to the company’s employee benefits plan set in place in 2019, which is unrelated to prior lawsuits accusing the company of not paying severance to individual employees because of breaching their specific contracts.
When reached for comment, Twitter media relations auto-replied to Entrepreneur with a poop emoji.
Earlier this year, a disabled Twitter employee publicly asked Musk whether or not he was being laid off, to which Musk replied that he just wanted a “big payout.” The two eventually settled the disagreement, ending in Musk publicly apologizing.
It’s estimated that Twitter has 1,000 employees as of May — about 10% of its workforce before Musk purchased the company last November.
“There were a lot of people that didn’t seem to have a lot of value,” Musk said bluntly at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London in May. “I think there is the possibility for significant cuts at other companies without affecting their productivity, in fact increasing their productivity.”
Musk’s net worth as of Thursday morning was an estimated $244.1 billion.