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Disabled employee angrily sues Twitter over Elon Musk’s ban on telecommuting layoffs

According to Reuters, a new lawsuit claims that Twitter boss Elon Musk discriminated against workers with disabilities by asking employees to stop working remotely and to work “long hours at high intensity.

Dmitry Borodaenko, an engineering manager in California, said Twitter fired him this week after he refused to report to the office, and he filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the company Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco.

Borodaenko said Elon Musk recently called for Twitter employees to either return to the office or resign, in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities.

According to the suit, Borodaenko has a disability that makes him susceptible to New Coronary Pneumonia. The lawsuit alleges that many Twitter employees with disabilities were forced to quit because they were unable to meet Elon Musk’s demanding performance and productivity standards requirements.

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

Twitter has previously faced a proposed class action lawsuit, also in San Francisco federal court, claiming it violated that law by abruptly laying off about 3,700 people, or half of the company’s workforce, after Elon Musk took over.

Elon Musk has said that the fired workers were given 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, Elon Musk has “put the company’s workers through a tremendous amount of pain and uncertainty in such a short period of time.

There is little legal precedent on whether remote work qualifies as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces the ADA, saying in guidance issued in 2020 that remote work can be a reasonable accommodation when it does not impose an undue burden on employers.

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