X, formerly Twitter, faces 2,200 arbitration claims filed by ex-employees after Elon Musk acquired the company and made major changes. This volume of cases alone could cost $3.5 million in filing fees.
In a filing filed Monday, the arbitration numbers were revealed as part of a case in Delaware district court. Chris Woodfield v. Twitter X Corp., and Elon Musk is the case (No. 1:23-cv-780-CFC).
Woodfield, a senior network engineer at Twitter’s Seattle offices, claims in his lawsuit that Musk’s Twitter, now known as X, promised to pay him severance but failed to do so. Musk’s Twitter then delayed alternative dispute resolution, by not paying the fees necessary for Woodfield to proceed in the JAMS Arbitration system.
According to the website of JAMS “For two-party cases, the filing fee is $2,000” and “For issues based on clauses or agreements that are required as a requirement for employment, the employee only needs to pay $400.”
Since JAMS determined this basic fee would apply across the board for X’s 2200 arbitration cases, it would be around $3.5 Million, with possible other fees following.
The lawyers for the company have argued that since it didn’t mandate its employees to arbitrate any disputes, it shouldn’t be responsible for the majority of filing fees.
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Woodfield, and other parties in similar situations are attempting to move their cases from arbitration to court.
CNBC reported that many large companies require their employees to sign arbitration agreements upon employment, wherever this is allowed. To be able to speak freely and openly in court where their words can become public records, workers must first get an exemption by a judge.
Arbitration is viewed by critics as a secretive process that makes it difficult for employees to learn how their employers treat them and what has happened in similar cases.
Arbitration is seen by many as an efficient way for employees and companies to resolve disputes without having to pay for expensive legal fees.
In the case of Ma v. Twitter in Northern District of California, (No. Ex-employees from the Musk-era of Twitter claim that the company delayed 891 arbitration proceedings by not paying required filing fees, after forcing employees to agree to arbitrate disputes in exchange for severance.