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Employees with disabilities sue Twitter over Musk's ban on telecommuting

A new lawsuit claims that Twitter boss Elon Musk discriminated against disabled workers by asking employees to stop remote work and work high-intensity and long hours. Dmitry Borodaenko, an engineering manager in California who said Twitter fired him this week for refusing to report to the office, filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the company Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco.

Borodaenko said, Musk's recent call that Twitter employees either return to the office or resign violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities.

According to the indictment, Borodaenko has a disability that makes him vulnerable to Covid-19. Many of Twitter's employees with disabilities were forced to resign because they couldn't meet Musk's demanding performance and productivity standards, the lawsuit said .

In a separate complaint filed in the same court on Wednesday, Twitter was accused of laying off thousands of contract workers without the 60-day notice required by federal law.

Twitter was already facing a proposed class-action lawsuit, also in San Francisco federal court, alleging that it violated the law by abruptly laying off about 3,700 people, or half of the company's workforce, following Musk's takeover.

Musk has said that laid-off workers received three months of severance pay. Under federal law, employers can offer workers 60 days of severance pay in lieu of giving notice.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the plaintiffs in all three pending cases, said that since taking over Twitter, Musk has inflicted tremendous pain and uncertainty on the company's workers in such a short period of time.

There is little legal precedent on whether remote work is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the Disabilities Act, said in guidance issued in 2020 that when remote work would not It can be a reasonable accommodation when it places an undue burden on the employer.


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