A short time after taking on Twitter, Elon Musk lay off about 50 percent of the company’s employees. On the same day, Mr tweeted that all those fired will receive three months of severance pay. However, after two months of waiting for the company to say what kind of severance and benefits will be available, some former Twitter employees say they haven’t heard back.
As weeks of waiting turn into months, former employees in the US are filing arbitration lawsuits, while some in the UK are trying to negotiate terms. In other countries where Twitter laid off employees, people didn’t hear back.
Soon after the layoffs were announced, Twitter was forced to turn around and keep some employees on the payroll longer. California employees were employed, though not employed, until January 4 to avoid violations of the state’s Worker Retraining and Adjustment Notification Act, or WARN. In New York, former employees will be employed for an additional month in accordance with state law. But as those deadlines passed, Twitter’s silence grew jarring.
Seven former Twitter employees who spoke to WIRED said they have not received word of their resignation, although some are nearing or past their last day at the company. Last month, a handful of former employees announced that it would file arbitration lawsuits against the company, alleging that the company violated the WARN Act and that its handling of layoffs was a breach of contract.
A former employee, who was fired in November, is awaiting legal action to see if they will be fired—and is uncertain that they will. Another, who was fired in early November, received no word from the company.
A third have yet to receive any details of their severance, although they have been following Twitter for information since they were laid off in November. They had been promised at least twice before that that they will be given details about their package—and each time the promised deadline passes without any information.
A former employee in the UK said that they have not yet received notice of the resignation but are currently discussing the terms with the company on behalf of about 300 employees working in the country.
A former employee of the Twitter office in Accra, Ghana, which opened less than a week before its entire staff was laid off, said that they, “like other employees globally, have been laid off. guaranteed termination but have not received a response from them yet.” Former employees say they are not sure what recourse they can have against the company in Ghana, if any.
Twitter, however, provides disruption for some. A former contractor said their boss received the details of their severance on January 5. As for the contractor, they were given a box of chocolates by their employer at Twitter. All former Twitter employees contacted for this story have remained anonymous because speaking to the media could affect their severance pay.
While some chose to wait until their official employee status expired on January 4, others chose to take pre-emptive legal action against the company.