A former Twitter employee has launched a lawsuit accusing the company of failing to pay out millions of dollars in promised bonuses, seeking damages for an alleged breach of contract.
The case was filed in a San Francisco federal court on Tuesday by Mark Schobinger, who served as Twitter’s director of compensation until he left the company last month. While he said the site had pledged to pay workers their usual bonus after Elon Musk purchased Twitter last October, Schobinger claimed he and other staffers never saw the money.
“Despite Twitter’s promises that it would pay 2022 bonuses… Twitter refused to pay employees who remained employed by the company in the first quarter of 2023 any bonus,” the lawsuit said.
The ex-employee went on to state that Twitter had set aside funds for the bonus payments, which were accounted for by the company’s financial team, but failed to send them to workers. He said his decision to remain at Twitter after Musk’s arrival was largely based on the guaranteed compensation, and that he turned down other work opportunities “secure in the knowledge that Twitter would pay him his promised 2022 annual bonus.”
Schobinger has accused Twitter of breach of contract and requested damages for the lost bonuses. He is now seeking to turn the case into a class action lawsuit on behalf of other current and former employees, claiming the total amount owed to them exceeds $5 million.
Twitter – which has closed its media office and now responds to emailed requests for comment with a poop emoji – has yet to weigh in on the suit.
Since Musk completed a $44-billion deal to buy the social platform last year, the company has faced a spate of lawsuits. Schobinger’s attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, represents other former Twitter employees in several other cases, including another suit filed last year over alleged labor law violations. After Twitter laid off around 3,700 staffers – or about half of its workforce – thousands of ex-employees have also sought arbitration, many claiming they never received severance payments promised to them.