A US judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by former Twitter employees who accused Elon Musk of unlawfully denying them around $500 million in severance payments after he took over the company.

Judge Trina Thompson ruled that the employees did not sufficiently prove their claims were protected under federal law.

This decision marks a legal victory for Musk, who acquired Twitter in 2022 and promptly implemented significant changes, including laying off thousands of employees.

These actions triggered multiple legal challenges from ex-staff and suppliers, alleging that promised payments were withheld.

The lawsuit, filed in 2023 by Courtney McMillian, who had served as Twitter’s “head of total rewards,” now renamed X under Musk’s leadership, claimed that the company provided only one month’s pay as severance instead of the more extensive benefits promised, such as two months’ salary and health insurance contributions.

Musk’s legal team argued that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which sets standards for private health and pension plans, did not apply as alleged.

The judge agreed, dismissing the case while noting that other legal challenges related to wage payment and severance benefits against Twitter are still ongoing.

This ruling underscores the complexities of corporate acquisitions and the legal responsibilities that arise when companies undergo significant restructuring under new ownership.

It also highlights the ongoing legal battles within the tech industry regarding employment rights and compensation during organizational changes.

BBC provided the original reporting on this case.


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