Thursday, December 1, 2022
No menu items!
HomeNEWSTwitter layoffs begin, sparking a lawsuit and backlash

Twitter layoffs begin, sparking a lawsuit and backlash

Long-dreaded layoffs are finally happening at Twitter, which has been owned by billionaire Elon Musk for only a week. They have sparked a lawsuit from employees and a call for advertisers to boycott.

Jessica González, CEO of Free Press, which is part of the #StopToxicTwitter coalition, said she and leaders of more than 40 other groups met with Musk earlier this week.

“He promised to retain and enforce the election-integrity measures that were on Twitter’s books before his takeover. With today’s mass layoffs, it is clear that his actions betray his words,” González said.

She said Musk was taking apart Twitter’s investment in fact checking, moderators and policy, which could allow more dangerous disinformation to spread, especially so close to Election Day.

“Twitter was already a hellscape before Musk took over. His actions in the past week will only make it worse,” González said.

Several major advertisers have suspended advertising on Twitter since Musk took over, including General Motors and Pfizer. Nearly all of Twitter’s revenue comes from ads.

Employees sue Musk over lack of notice for firings
A handful of employees moved quickly to file a class action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of Twitter workers.

The case alleges that Twitter is letting go of staff without adequate notice, in violation of California and federal employment law. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act, or WARN, requires at least a 60-day notice before conducting mass layoffs.

The company wouldn’t comment on the exact number of staff let go and which departments lost the most, but an internal company email told employees to stay home Friday and wait for an email about the future of their jobs.

Employees posted about getting laid off on Twitter under the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked.

They expressed gratitude to their teams and bosses, grieved for the company culture they enjoyed, and worried about colleagues who might lose health insurance or work visas.

Other users chimed in, calling Twitter employees “government stooges” and criticizing content moderation and policy decisions under the company’s previous leadership.

Musk has long complained about the size of Twitter’s staff, which was about 7,500. The company had ballooned in recent years, even as it struggled financially.

Musk fired many of Twitter’s top executives last week, including its CEO, chief financial officer and top lawyers. He also dissolved its board.

 

Elon Musk’s Twitter lays off employees across the company

Twitter on Friday laid off employees in departments across the company, in a severe round of cost cutting that could potentially upend how one of the world’s most influential platforms operates one week after it was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk.

Twitter on Friday laid off employees in departments across the company, in a severe round of cost cutting that could potentially upend how one of the world’s most influential platforms operates one week after it was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk.

By Friday morning, Twitter employees from departments including ethical AI, marketing and communication, search, public policy, wellness and other teams had tweeted about having been let go. Members of the curation team, which help elevate reliable information on the platform, including about elections, were also laid off, according to employee posts.

“Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack,” one Twitter employee said on the platform. “So sad it had to end this way.”

Another employee said that she and other members of Twitter’s human rights team had been laid off. The employee added that she is proud of the team’s work “to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders.”

One Twitter employee who was laid off told CNN Friday that some workers are relieved to have been let go. “For me, being safe would’ve been punishment,” the employee said.

While Twitter employees were posting about being laid off, Musk on Friday appeared for a friendly interview at an investor conference and spoke about making cheaper electric vehicles and his ambitions to go to Mars. During the interview, Musk said of Twitter, “I tried to get out of the deal,” but then added, “I think there is a tremendous amount of potential … and I think it could be one of the most valuable companies in the world.”

The interviewer said that Musk had laid off “half of Twitter” and Musk nodded, although he did not comment on the remark. He appeared to frame the layoffs as necessary for a company that, like other social media firms, was experiencing “revenue challenges” prior to his acquisition as advertisers rethink spending amid recession fears.

Musk also said “a number of major advertisers have stopped spending on Twitter” in the days since the acquisition was completed.

It’s unclear exactly how many Twitter employees have been or will be laid off. Twitter had about 7,500 workers prior to Musk’s takeover. In recent days, there have been reports that Twitter could cut 25% to 50% of its staff as Musk rethinks how the platform operates and attempts to improve the company’s bottom line after taking out significant debt financing to fund his $44 billion acquisition.

https://player.soundon.fm/p/b3a3910c-7a33-4de6-904e-a070d9fd54b6
https://player.soundon.fm/p/393d6370-9b44-4e79-a700-28167f4a44f1
https://player.soundon.fm/p/3c244f9b-8019-4903-9a10-84d1a797c459
https://player.soundon.fm/p/73d94bbb-601c-4138-91ae-dab4928df47e
https://player.soundon.fm/p/7fc44722-265a-4557-af8f-877909ee1418
https://player.soundon.fm/p/f9117e08-f0fb-41e3-872f-f5606fa40284
https://player.soundon.fm/p/30829009-7e48-4fa8-8e43-0be6d010d362
https://player.soundon.fm/p/b766b3dc-e1f0-43e5-b7ed-6d3f6acda535
https://player.soundon.fm/p/44b0233b-76b8-48af-870c-a79784eb8e26
https://player.soundon.fm/p/254f9c3b-7d3f-4db4-aef9-32e4f81364e4
https://player.soundon.fm/p/3b0d809d-97b2-409f-aa97-393caa0b2347
https://player.soundon.fm/p/420642f6-ba37-4404-98d7-26bd5aa868b5
https://player.soundon.fm/p/e9b03767-c7ca-4be5-9212-94ccfbdd1f31
https://player.soundon.fm/p/c622d86a-e327-41af-a92a-b3f82958b988
https://player.soundon.fm/p/fc09b53a-e0a5-4e69-8ef4-985833d84800

The email sent Thursday evening notified employees that they would receive a notice by 12 p.m. ET Friday that informs them of their employment status.

“If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” a copy of the email obtained by CNN said. “If your employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email.”

The email added that “to help ensure the safety” of employees and Twitter’s systems, the company’s offices “will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”

The email concluded acknowledging that it will be “an incredibly challenging experience to go through” for the workforce.

Several Twitter employees on Thursday night filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Twitter is in violation of the federal and California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) after laying off some employees already.

The WARN Act requires that an employer with more than 100 employees must provide 60 days’ advanced written notice prior to a mass layoff “affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.”

“Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made clear that he believes complying with federal labor laws is ‘trivial,’” Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement to CNN. “We have filed this federal complaint to ensure that Twitter be held accountable to our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly signing away their rights.”

California’s Employment Development Department confirmed to CNN that no WARN notices had been filed by Twitter as of midday Friday.

Musk started his tenure at Twitter by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision.

And in less than a week since Musk acquired the company, its C-suite appears to have almost entirely cleared out, through a mix of firings and resignations. Musk has also dissolved Twitter’s former board of directors.

Many staffers on Friday summed up their feelings with a hashtag, #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past-tense play on one previously often used by Twitter employees.

– Clare Duffy and Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report

 

Twitter sued by employees after mass layoffs begin

Five current or former Twitter employees sued the company Thursday alleging it violated federal and California laws by failing to give enough notice about ongoing mass layoffs.

Twitter will inform staffers Friday of their job status, and it’s expected to fire about 3,700 employees.

The layoffs are commencing just days after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took control of Twitter.

Twitter was sued by former employees who say they were not given enough notice under federal and California law that they had lost their jobs amid ongoing mass layoffs.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco federal court Thursday by five current or former Twitter employees, including Emmanuel Cornet, a software engineer known for his satirical cartoons critiquing Silicon Valley, who was fired Tuesday, according to the complaint.

Twitter informed employees Thursday evening, days after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took control of the company, that it would begin laying off staff members, according to communications obtained by NBC News. In the email, Twitter said staffers will receive a notice about their employment in their work email if they still have a job, or their personal email accounts if their “employment is impacted.”

Twitter employees are expecting the company to cut 50% of its workforce, or roughly 3,700 employees.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide advance notice, generally within 60 days, of mass layoffs or plant closings.

“Plaintiffs file this action seeking to ensure that Twitter comply with the law and provide the requisite notice or severance payment in connection with the anticipated layoffs,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order requiring Twitter to obey the WARN Act. It also seeks to prevent Twitter from soliciting employees to sign documents that could give up their right to participate in litigation.

Representatives from Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for California’s employment department said Twitter has not filed any WARN notices with the agency this year.

 

Twitter begins layoffs, cuts to affect 50% of staff

Tesla CEO Elon Musk closed the deal to acquire Twitter in October.

Twitter began layoffs on Friday that will cut roughly half of its 7,500-person workforce, the company announced in an email.

“Today is your last working day at the company,” the email said, which ABC News has reviewed. The subject line read “Your Role at Twitter” and was sent to the personal email addresses of those laid off.

The email reiterated that about 50% of the workforce at Twitter has been impacted.

Those laid off will remain employed by Twitter and receive compensation and benefits until the first week of January 2023, though the date may vary for employees. Affected employees were already locked out of their Twitter systems, such as email and Slack.

These employees should receive their non-negotiable severance offer within the week, the email said. At that time, they will be required to hand in their badges and company laptops or computers.

Documents attached to the email include a Q&A which again states that severances could not be individually negotiated. The severance package will include one-month base pay.

“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” the company previously wrote in an email sent to employees on Thursday and obtained by ABC News.

https://player.soundon.fm/p/17e92a6b-3df5-4312-8fc0-2f9eb882e062
https://player.soundon.fm/p/7f4432e5-f6b0-49c0-bbe9-832e4817a324
https://player.soundon.fm/p/80060d57-c8d5-42e4-822a-8a60af9b575f
https://player.soundon.fm/p/0bf43f49-fb8e-4fbf-822d-51a38579af6d
https://player.soundon.fm/p/7ddb9b3a-60ea-43b5-80b5-e7d3a0bb6d6e
https://player.soundon.fm/p/92a600d6-51e4-46b6-bbcf-6e5865cdb514
https://player.soundon.fm/p/ec26b9a8-87e2-4361-8a95-bd01b434add1
https://player.soundon.fm/p/a0f5c8a0-6919-4c7f-abda-4f7430fdadfe
https://player.soundon.fm/p/b1fb2839-05da-4b79-9a26-42a9c56845ad
https://player.soundon.fm/p/3bb6816a-334d-4cf3-9d93-55786c4836f0
https://player.soundon.fm/p/c5ea6815-7749-4670-8a48-b6be34188849
https://player.soundon.fm/p/92d75c49-b502-488f-8970-7dcde0a05a63
https://player.soundon.fm/p/c90eea7c-d16c-4541-901d-5ddd82321f3b
https://player.soundon.fm/p/41b78462-587c-4ba0-b5a8-d238e0877e2d
https://player.soundon.fm/p/d849c7dd-f249-4937-84a5-690005a323dd

“We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” the email continued.

Employees were told, via the company email Thursday, they would receive a notification to their Twitter email if their employment was not impacted. If they were, a notification would be sent to their personal email with next steps.

In the company email, Twitter said its offices are temporarily closed and “all badge access will be suspended.”

“We acknowledge this is an incredibly challenging experience to go through, whether or not you are impacted,” the company.

Three now-former Twitter employees told ABC News they received an email confirming the layoff on Thursday night. They said they were immediately locked out of all their work-related accounts and email and no longer have access to them.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk closed the deal to acquire Twitter last week.

Musk — the richest person in the world, according to Forbes — reportedly acquired Twitter at his original offer price of $54.20 a share at a total cost of roughly $44 billion.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed Musk’s Twitter deal closure to ABC News on Oct. 28. Some of Twitter’s top executives were fired, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sam Edgett, and the company will likely be launching an internal investigation, according to the source.

Musk had said last week that he will forgo any significant content moderation or account reinstatement decisions until after the formation of a new committee devoted to the issues.

“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” Musk tweeted. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

ABC News’ Taylor Dunn, Max Zahn, Santina Leuci and Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

 

Twitter begins layoffs, cuts to affect 50% of staff

Twitter began layoffs on Friday that will cut roughly half of its 7,500-person workforce, the company announced in an email.

“Today is your last working day at the company,” the email said, which ABC News has reviewed. The subject line read “Your Role at Twitter” and was sent to the personal email addresses of those laid off.

The email reiterated that about 50% of the workforce at Twitter has been impacted.

Those laid off will remain employed by Twitter and receive compensation and benefits until the first week of January 2023, though the date may vary for employees. Affected employees were already locked out of their Twitter systems, such as email and Slack.

These employees should receive their non-negotiable severance offer within the week, the email said. At that time, they will be required to hand in their badges and company laptops or computers.

Documents attached to the email include a Q&A which again states that severances could not be individually negotiated. The severance package will include one-month base pay.

“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” the company previously wrote in an email sent to employees on Thursday and obtained by ABC News.

“We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” the email continued.

The Washington Post was first to report the email to employees.

Employees were told, via the company email Thursday, they would receive a notification to their Twitter email if their employment was not impacted. If they were, a notification would be sent to their personal email with next steps.

 

Twitter sued in class action lawsuit over mass layoffs without proper legal notice

Twitter is being sued for not giving employees advance notice of a mass layoff that began in earnest early Friday. The lawsuit alleges that Twitter violated worker protection laws, including the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act as well as the California WARN Act, both of which require 60 days of advance notice.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday as news spread that the company — now under the ownership and direction of Elon Musk — would begin mass layoffs early Friday in an effort to reduce costs by eliminating 3,700 jobs, or 50% of its total workforce.

Bloomberg first reported the news of the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.

The complaint alleges that Twitter began its layoffs November 1, when it terminated the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Emmanuel Cornet, without providing the proper written notice in violation of U.S. and California law. Additional plaintiffs, Justine De Caires, Jessica Pan, and Grae Kindel said they were terminated November 3 by being locked out of their accounts. The lawsuit added that California’s Employment Development Department had not received a notice related to the mass layoffs that began Friday.

The lawsuit reminds the court that Musk has previously laid off employees without notice. Tesla, where Musk is CEO and its largest shareholder, was sued by former employees after a mass layoff in June 2022. In that case, Musk directed Tesla executives to pause all hiring and to prepare for job cuts. Employees were never given advance warning and hundreds were laid off a couple of weeks later.

Lawyers representing two Tesla workers initially filed an emergency injunction asking a judge to prohibit the EV maker from forcing workers to sign releases in exchange for less severance than federal law provides.

A lawsuit was later filed on behalf of those same employees alleging that the company did not provide the 60 days of advance notice required by federal law during a recent round of layoffs. A federal judge later ruled that Tesla must inform workers of the proposed class action lawsuit, as the termination agreements they had signed may have been misleading and caused them to waive their rights under federal law. Musk had dismissed that lawsuit as “trivial” when commenting on the lawsuit at the Qatar Economic Forum organized by Bloomberg.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments