The logo for Twitter is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York
Twitter employees have filed a suit against the social media company for not paying 2022 bonuses despite multiple promises. Reuters

Twitter employees have sued the social media company for not paying bonuses. Apparently, they were not paid tens of millions of dollars in bonuses despite being assured that they would be. Twitter employees filed the lawsuit in the San Francisco federal court on June 20, 2023.

Twitter executives accused of speaking with a forked tongue

Several top executives of the company including former CFO Ned Segal repeatedly assured the employees that they would get the full amount of their 2022 bonuses. However, with Elon Musk's arrival, the company hasn't kept the promises it made so far.

Rubbing salt into their wounds, Musk recently announced that the social media company will start paying content creators for ads in their replies, further noting that the first block payment totals $5 million (about £4,019,250). Lawyers for the lead plaintiff, Mark Schobinger, who is a former Head of Executive and Incentive Compensation at Twitter, are seeking a class-action lawsuit. They represent former and existing Twitter staff.

In the report, Shobinger pointed out that "Twitter refused to pay employees who remained employed by the company in the first quarter of 2023 any bonus." Similarly, the employees claim Twitter's management repeatedly promised them that their annual bonus for last year would be paid under the Bonus Plan. These promises were made before and after Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022.

Attorney for the plaintiffs, Shannon Liss-Riordan says Twitter owes "tens of millions of dollars" in bonuses. It is worth noting that the social media giant has a cash performance bonus plan that is paid every year. A Bloomberg report claims Twitter staff were promised to be paid 50 per cent of their target accounts in the form of bonuses ahead of Musk's acquisition of the company. However, the company failed to pay at least half of the target amounts for last year's bonuses.

Things are looking very bad for Twitter

Musk has disbanded the company's media relations team, according to the folks at IT Home. Twitter has been sued several times since the 51-year-old business magnate acquired the company. Moreover, Instagram is reportedly on the verge of unveiling a text-based app that will compete with Twitter. So, it is safe to say that things aren't looking great for Musk's social media platform.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter has failed to pay its bills including rent. In fact, it has been reported that employees who were laid off did not get compensation in the form of severance pay. Twitter's workforce has been cut down by 75 per cent due to mass resignations and layoffs since the Musk takeover.

More trouble for Twitter

Apart from the lawsuit filed by Twitter employees against the company, multiple brands have backed out of Twitter after losing trust. The company has also failed in terms of getting rid of harmful, violent, and hateful content from the platform.

As a result, Twitter saw a drop of 59 per cent in its ad revenue, according to a report by The New York Times. As if that weren't enough, the company is being sued for a whopping $250 million (about £196,238,000.00) due to copyright infringement by a group of 17 publishers. These publishers are led by the National Music Publishers' Association.

According to the lawsuit, Twitter has been unfairly benefiting from copyright infringement for a while now. A report by The Guardian implies that the lawsuit alleges that Twitter allows users to post unlicensed music. Musk has previously stated that copyright "goes absurdly far beyond protecting the original creator" and that "overzealous" application of copyright laws "is a plague on humanity."

The suit claims Musk's statements exert pressure on the company's employees who are part of the trust and safety team. It is also worth noting that the National Music Publishers' Association brought this suit on behalf of firms including Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management, and Sony Music Publishing.