Twitter employee secures order halting disciplinary action over allegedly liking critical tweets

Twitter Employee Secures Order Halting Disciplinary Action Over Allegedly Liking Critical Tweets
Aaron Rodericks, who is the co-lead of threat disruption at X, formerly known as Twitter, secured the order against his employer. Photo: PA Images
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High Court reporters

A senior Irish-based employee of the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, who allegedly liked tweets critical of the company and its owner Elon Musk has secured a temporary High Court injunction restraining the firm from taking any further steps in a disciplinary process against him.

Aaron Rodericks, who is the co-lead of threat disruption at X, secured the order against his employer.


He claims he is being subjected to a process that is "a complete sham" over allegations that he "demonstrated hostility" to the company for allegedly liking tweets by third parties that are critical of X, Mr Musk and the firm's chief executive Linda Yaccarine.

Mr Rodericks, with an address at Cualanor, Dín Laoghaire, Co Dublin, denies any wrongdoing in respect of his employment.

A disciplinary hearing against Mr Rodericks was due to be heard by the company at 4pm on Friday afternoon.

However, 30 minutes before that meeting was due to be heard the High Court granted Mr Rodericks a temporary injunction halting that process.


In his action, Mr Rodericks claims the disciplinary process arose after he had posted about job vacancies at the company on his personal X account.

'Threatening and abusive messages'

In response, he said he received "a barrage of threatening and abusive messages" from persons who wrongly believed the posts were an attempt by X to censor free speech and influence election outcomes.

In a sworn statement to the court, he said he made the company aware of the backlash he received, but says it took no action.

Shortly afterwards, he claims he was the subject of meetings and a disciplinary process that has seen him suspended from his job for allegedly liking disparaging posts about X, Mr Musk and Ms Yaccarino.


He said he was very surprised by the allegations, as the company had adopted a strong position on freedom of speech on the platform and is not aware of any requirement that precludes employees from liking material posted on X.

Seeking the injunction halting the hearing, Colm Kitson Bl, instructed by Daniel Spring and Co Solicitors for Mr Rodericks, said it is his client's view that the flawed disciplinary process has been "preordained" by senior persons at X.

Counsel said Mr Rodericks suspension from his job is without justification, in breach of fair procedures, and in breach of his client's contract of employment.

Counsel said that following his suspension earlier this month, Mr Rodericks attended a meeting with an investigator appointed by the company to probe the allegations.


Counsel said Mr Rodericks believed the purpose of that meeting was to determine if he had a case to answer.

Arising out of that meeting, counsel said findings were made by the investigator against his client and that the investigator had exceeded her role and was not entitled to make those findings.

Arising out of those findings the company wanted to proceed with a disciplinary hearing on Friday, September 22nd, which counsel said should be halted.

Counsel said his client disputes the findings against him and says that he was not provided with documentation he says he is entitled to by his employer regarding the allegations against him.


Counsel said Mr Rodericks was at one point asked by the company if he was open to a "termination package" from his employments, or alternatively be the subject of a disciplinary process.


Mr Rodericks was also asked to attend a separate meeting to discuss his possible redundancy.

Counsel said his client does not know what to make of that request, as Mr Rodericks and some others in his team had only received an email inviting him to the redundancy meeting at 1am on Friday morning.

The matter came before Mr Justice David Holland during Friday's vacation sitting of the High Court.

The judge, on an ex-parte basis, granted Mr Roderick an injunction against Twitter International Unlimited Company.

The judge said that while he was not making any findings of fact in the action, he was satisfied with the evidence that the disciplinary should be halted by the court.

The judge said Mr Rodericks had made out a fair case to be tried in relation to the claim that the investigator's findings against him are flawed and were made after the plaintiff had believed their meeting was to determine if he had a case to answer.

The judge added the balance of justice, given the serious nature of the allegations against the plainitff, also favoured the granting of the temporary injunction, and that damages would not be an adequate remedy.

The matter will return before the court next week.

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