Many former Twitter workers had to wait in the dark for months after being laid off en masse but have now finally begun receiving their severance offers. However, they sound more like settlement agreements, a lawyer said.
According to Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing dozens of former Twitter employees affected by mass layoffs in November, some of the fired workers are justifiably frustrated by the offer and its conditions.
The severance offer promises one month’s pay in exchange for agreeing to various terms, including a non-disparagement agreement and waiving the right to take any legal action against the company, Bloom says.
“They are really settlement agreements which SILENCE WORKERS FOR LIFE and require them to give up important legal rights,” the lawyer tweeted.
Bloom added that many Twitter ex-employees are contacting her about rejecting the “obnoxious” offers and filing claims. The lawyer also said that, according to her information, Twitter is “not allowing any negotiations” that would normally take place.
Besides, Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner, had previously promised to provide three months of severance pay so the current offer certainly falls short of it – although it could be argued that Musk included the 60-day advanced notice pay the company was obligated to provide.
However, in November, a class action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco federal court against Twitter by its employees, who argued that the company was precisely violating federal and California law and providing no required 60-day advance notice.
The amount is also significantly less than provided by rivals such as Facebook-parent Meta. It also laid off thousands of workers around the same time but guaranteed them 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for each year they were employed at the company.
Fortune reported over the weekend that some former Twitter employees were disappointed with the compensation on offer.
Besides, it seems that the severance pay mail landed in the spam folder and was missed by many. Twitter had to reassure its own laid-off employees that the email sent on Saturday morning was not a phishing attempt.
It’s not yet clear how many of the fired Twitter employees will accept the money and how many will now work with lawyers and file arbitration claims.
Musk scrambles to cut costs at the company he bought in October for $44 billion. After laying off half of the workforce in early November, Musk continued cutting and pushing out additional employees.
For instance, Musk required anyone who remained to sign a pledge committing to “hardcore” work late last year, and Twitter’s trust and safety team experienced at least a dozen additional cuts on Friday.
Bloom, who said she had filed dozens of demands for arbitration on behalf of former Twitter employees, also said the severance offer does not include prorated bonuses or accelerated stock vesting for eligible employees.
This could amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost funds for some affected workers. The company typically provided such benefits to laid-off employees prior to Musk’s acquisition, she said.
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