Twitter Ex-Janitors ‘Left Jobless on Christmas Eve’ Suing for $100,000

  • Eleven former janitors are suing Twitter, claiming over $100,000 in back wages.
  • The lawsuit accuses Twitter of violating a labor rights act by ending their contracts within 90 days.
  • One of the janitors said she faced “extreme hardship” like rationing pills after losing healthcare benefits.

Former janitors at Twitter’s New York office say they’re owed “hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages” in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The complaint, first reported by The Guardian, accuses Elon Musk’s company of violating the city’s Displaced Building Service Workers Protection Act (DBSWPA).

It requires new building managers to keep employees for a 90-day transition period, and beyond that if their performance is considered satisfactory.

The janitors say they had their contracts terminated on December 19 — 53 days after Musk bought Twitter — meaning they were “left jobless on Christmas Eve,” the suit says.

The eleven plaintiffs earned around $25 to $30 an hour, and some had been cleaning Twitter’s office since 2015.

In January, Twitter staff spotted cockroaches at the New York office, and it suffered a toilet paper shortage, Insider reported.

Twitter then hired a new cleaning contractor, called Nexgen, in February.

A red brick office building, five storeys tall, with big glass windows, in New York City.

Twitter’s New York office.

Kena Betancur/VIEW press via Getty Images

The janitors’ union, 32BJ SEIU, wrote to Nexgen’s president advising him of the obligation to employ them under the DBSWPA, but he never responded, according to the suit. 

Twitter never responded to similar letters, the complaint says.

Lucy Calderon, one of the former janitors, said in a press release: “My colleagues and I have faced extreme hardship after losing our jobs. They got rid of us just before Christmas like we didn’t matter.”

She added that she’d been rationing pills after losing healthcare benefits, and many of the janitors are single parents who are the main breadwinners.

We have laws in NYC that protect workers from the arbitrary whims of billionaires,” said 32BJ SEIU President Manny Pastreich. “We are going to make sure their rights are protected.”

Insider contacted Twitter for comment. The company responded with an automated message that didn’t address the inquiry.

Nextgen did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside US working hours.

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