According to a lawyer preparing one of the lawsuits, TikTok and its U.S. employees plan to take President Donald Trump’s administration to the courtroom over his sweeping order to ban the Famous video app.
The legal challenge of the employees to Trump’s government order could be different from a pending lawsuit in the company that owns the app, although both would claim that the order is unconstitutional, said Mike Godwin, an internet policy lawyer representing the employees.
Last week, President ordered sweeping but vague bans on dealing with TikTok’s Chinese owners and another WeChat messaging app, claiming they present a danger to U.S. national security, international coverage and the financial system.
The TikTok order will have an effect in September, although it is uncertain what it would mean for the 100 million U.S. users of the platform, many of them young people or young adults who use it to upload and watch videos of short length.
However, it is unclear if it would make it impossible for TikTok to pay its approximately 1,500 U.S. workers, which is why some of them came to Godwin for help, he said. The order will prohibit “any individual transaction” with TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance.
“Workers know correctly that their jobs are at risk and their salary is at risk right now,” Godwin said.
TikTok mentioned in a press release last week that it was “shocked by the latest Executive Order, which was issued without any due process.” It declined to comment Thursday on whether or not it’s pursuing its own lawsuit.
“We’ve got no involvement with and should not coordinating on” the employee-led initiative, stated TikTok spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide stated by way of email. “We respect the rights of workers to engage in concerted activity to seek due process of regulation.”
The Fifth and 14th U.S. Amendments Law guarantees life, liberty from arbitrary government action which lacks “due process of law.”
Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok components, in a possible deal that is under pressure from the possibility of a ban by Trump.
“The administration is dedicated to defending the American folks from all cyber threats and these apps acquire significant amounts of personal data on users,” stated McEnany, adding that the Chinese authorities can access and use such data.
TikTok stated it spent almost a year attempting to engage in “good faith” with the U.S. government to handle these issues.