Former Twitter employees receive severance offer after months of waiting. Many are unhappy


New York
CNN
—

After months of uncertainty and feelings of ignorance, many former Twitter employees hit by mass layoffs in early November began receiving their severance offers over the weekend. But some are frustrated with the offer and the conditions attached to it.

The starting offer promises one month’s salary in exchange for agreeing to various terms, including a non-disparagement agreement and waiving the right to sue the company, according to Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing dozens of former Twitter employees affected by the layoffs.

Many were unhappy with the offer, according to public publications and lawyers representing former employees, saying it didn’t fit the “3 months allowance” that new owner Elon Musk had previously promised would be provided. (That period appeared to include payment for the 60-day notice that Twitter was obligated to provide under various state laws.) The amount is also significantly lower than that provided to rivals like Facebook parent Meta, which has laid off thousands of workers around the same time and guaranteed them 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for each year they were employed at the company.

Former Twitter employees are now stuck deciding whether to accept the money or join the hundreds of others who have already filed arbitration claims or lawsuits against the company.

“We’ve heard from hundreds of Twitter employees who are considering their options and aren’t happy to only be offered a month’s layoff, after they were promised so much more,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, another lawyer working for former Twitter employees, CNN told CNN in a statement Monday. “We have already filed hundreds of arbitration requests and we will continue to file them.”

The severance fight comes as Musk struggles to cut costs at the company he bought in October for $44 billion, including significant debt. After laying off half of the company in early November, Musk continued to cut and lay off additional employees, including requiring everyone who remained to sign a covenant pledging to “hardcore” work.

Twitter’s trust and safety team suffered at least a dozen additional cuts on Friday, according to a Bloomberg report over the weekend.

Bloom, who said he also filed dozens of arbitration claims on behalf of former Twitter employees, said the severance offer does not include pro-rated bonuses or accelerated vesting. actions for eligible employees, which could amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. lost funds for some affected workers. The company typically offered such benefits to laid-off employees before Musk’s acquisition, she said.

The severance offer would also require signing employees to agree not to cooperate as a witness in any legal action brought by third parties against Twitter. But they should also agree to cooperate on Twitter’s behalf in its defense to “provide truthful information” as a witness in any legal action against the company, the lawyers say.

A Twitter employee fired during the mass layoffs in early November tweeted over the weekend urging other affected employees not to “click or accept ANYTHING in this package” without first talking to a lawyer. “For me personally, money is an element,” they said. ” It’s a matter of principle. I strongly believe that we should hold people accountable for the promises they make and not keep them.

To add insult to injury, at least one former employee claimed on Twitter that the severance offer went to his email spam folder.

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