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Liss-Riordan sues Elon Musk on behalf of Twitter workers with disabilities

A lawsuit claims that the sudden end of remote work for employees of the social media platform violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California. Massachusetts labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan is suing the company for forcing employees with disabilities to return to the office.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Labor lawyer and former Massachusetts attorney general candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan filed a lawsuit against Twitter on behalf of employees with disabilities who say they were fired because they could not come into the office.

Dmitry Borodaenko, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, has a disability that makes him vulnerable to COVID-19. When he was hired by Twitter in 2021 as an engineering manager, he was told he would always have the option to work remotely, according to the lawsuit.

But after Elon Musk bought the company, he told workers that they would all be required to return to the office.

Borodaenko, who lives in northern California, told his manager he could not return and was laid off, the lawsuit said.


That violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and California’s similar state law, which require that companies make accommodations for people with disabilities, Liss-Riordan said.

“Musk’s demand that employees return immediately to the office, regardless of disabilities that may prevent them from doing so and despite promises made that this would not be required, is unlawful,” Liss-Riordan said in a statement.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Musk paid $44 billion for the social media service in a deal that he tried to back out of. Since taking over last month, Musk has fired top executives, laid off half of the company’s workers, and seen advertisers flee.

The lawsuit is Liss-Riordan’s third against Twitter and its billionaire owner. The two earlier suits allege that Twitter violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which typically requires that companies give workers 60 days notice before major layoffs.

Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman.