Elon Musk is firing thousands of Twitter employees today & they’re suing him

Elon Musk is desperate to make Twitter “profitable” and he thinks the way to do that is by firing almost every Twitter staffer, charging $8 for verification and platforming racism, hatred, Nazism and bigotry. Who’s gonna tell him? Musk sent out emails this week to Twitter employees, explaining in a convoluted way that most of them were being fired today, Friday. Since Musk telegraphed his mass layoff plan, Twitter employees had a chance to get organized enough to prepare a class action lawsuit. LMAO.

Elon Musk will begin laying off Twitter employees on Friday morning, according to a memo sent to staff, as several Twitter employees file a class action lawsuit alleging the layoffs are in violation of labor law. The email sent Thursday evening notified employees that they will 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.”

On Thursday night and into Friday morning, some Twitter employees began posting on the platform that they had already been locked out of their company email accounts ahead of the planned layoff notification. Some also shared blue hearts and salute emojis indicating they were out at the company, as well as #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past-tense play on a hashtag previously often used by Twitter employees.

The class action lawsuit filed Thursday alleges Twitter is in violation of the federal 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.”

Twitter had around 7,500 employees prior to Musk’s takeover.

[From CNN]

It’s funny, right? I have literally no skin in the game – I’m going to miss my Twitter friends and I have genuinely enjoyed the Twitter community for more than a decade, but I still find it kind of hilarious to watch this immediate crash-and-burn. Musk couldn’t even keep this sh-t together for a fortnight. He’s been tweeting through the pain, bargaining with Garfield the Cat and Stephen King, unsuccessfully trolling AOC, firing all of his Twitter employees, making Tesla employees work at Twitter, reposting sad douchebro memes, and now his ass is getting sued. Oh and remember how he fired all of the executives last week? Most of them had golden parachute clauses in their contracts, meaning it cost Musk hundreds of millions of dollars to fire the executives. Now he’s going to have to spend even more time and money dealing with this class-action suit.

Apparently, Amber Heard’s Twitter account has been deactivated too – no one knows if she left or if Musk is “punishing” her. Musk and Heard dated years ago. It was a mess. Talulah Riley’s Twitter is still active. Grimes’s Twitter is still active too.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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93 Responses to “Elon Musk is firing thousands of Twitter employees today & they’re suing him”

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  1. Kate says:

    Am the only one not surprised by this? This is straight out of The Capitalist handbook.

    • Bettyrose says:

      It was the obvious next step. No way he’s keeping Twitter in SF or paying to relocate his staff to Texas. He fires them and starts over with the new HQ in Texas. But what happens to the food court in the Twitter building ?? Apparently it’s the best lunch option for blocks.

    • Eurydice says:

      Well, what we’re forgetting here is that the Twitter board and shareholders voted to accept Musk’s offer. He’s not some kind of mystery man – everybody knows who he is. But it doesn’t seem like the board was considering what would happen to the employees and users, either – they just took the money and ran. So, why would anyone be surprised that Musk is going to do whatever he wants with his own private company?

      • Leah says:

        They had to accept the offer. The board has the obligation to shareholders to accept a good offer and Musk offered way, way over market value for the stock. So shareholders would have sued the board if they didn’t take it. Most shareholders with sense cashed out.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Leah – sure, there’s the obligation to the shareholders and it’s financially sensible to cash out when someone is offering a ridiculous amount of money. Shareholders would have sued, but there’s the counter argument that the board has a responsibility not to sell out to a crazy person. Basically, Twitter was/is a money-loser and neither side cared/cares about the employees or the users. All the wailing now is just performative.

      • Mcali says:

        This happens to banks and credit unions all the time. They may not want to sell, but they have to if it’s in the best interest of the shareholders/members. And Elon is not crazy, he’s a f-ing evil, mediocre, boring, overhyped, wannabe, privileged douchebag.

      • TheVolvesSeidr says:

        @Mcali 100% correct

      • Pointillist says:

        Agree with you Eury and the board tried to sue him to buy. There’s a report that Dorsey invited him on to the board but then Musk wanted everything.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    This class action wrongfully termination suit will not go well for him. This is being handled so unprofessionally.

    • LightPurple says:

      Well, that’s what happens when the first group of people you fire is your entire legal department.

      • Becks1 says:

        No one ever thinks lawyers are necessary……until they are.

        signed, a lawyer married to a lawyer LMAO.

    • Tacky says:

      He has even bigger headaches. Saudi Arabia is the second largest stakeholder in Twitter. Senator Chris Murphy has requested that be investigated as a nation security threat. If Musk is forced to cash out the Saudis, he’s well and truly screwed.

      • anne says:

        @Tacky: There’s great op-ed on The Verge that talks about the global implications. Basically, the writer says that the main issue at Twitter is political — Elon is all about “I’ll get rid of bots and everyone can say anything they want on Twitter!” but what about countries where speech is regulated (in Germany, hate speech is against the law AND Germany is Tesla’s biggest customer), or in countries where free speech is used to oppress people (Saudi Arabia, India, Iran, etc.)?

        There’s no way he’ll be able to navigate the legal and political complexities of running a global social media platform. Especially in countries that are also Tesla markets; now they have leverage they didn’t have before. And by tying Tesla to Twitter via these gigantic loans he’s taken out (he’ll be paying $1billion in INTEREST ALONE), if one company goes down, it’s going to drag the other with it. Frankly, I can’t wait.

      • Kat says:

        @Anne, this is the best thing I’ve heard all week. I hope all of our dreams for them all going down in flames come true!

    • Mauve says:

      Light-skinned people who are this rich rarely ever face tough consequences. I’m sure he’ll surf through this just fine.

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I was thinking about those on this site who said they were not deactivating their accounts and planned to stay and fight.

    Twitter has been a useful tool for the marginalized to show and spread the word about abuses in their home spaces and countries. It has helped make people aware of various atrocities and mobilized and organized those who would protest injustice. Who benefits the most when people cannot mobilize or find out about abuse, cops killing Black people, totalitarian government acts, etc? Only those who commit those acts.

    So if people leave Twitter, a battleground state, who wins? Russia. The Saudis. Republicans. China. North Korea. Donald Trump, Elon Musk, etc.

    Just writing this to say “I hear you” to my Celebitchy sisters out there fighting, and I am wondering if I should join you, for the sake of democacries everywhere.

    • Flowerlake says:

      Temporarily, but if people make another platform strong enough, all of those will lose.

      It wouldn’t be the first time a platform has been abandonned for another one.
      There’s always the pioneers, then the people who join them and then a big influx of other people.

      If a game is rigged against you, best play another game.

      Not saying people MUST leave Twitter now, but let’s give some support to alternatives out there.

      I saw what happened with Livejournal when the powers that were started making dumb decisions.
      There was a search for a bit of “where do we go?” “Where is everyone going?” with people trying out platforms.
      And then the nerdy fangirls (and some fanboys) and quite a few other groups went to Tumblr.
      Until Yahoo bought that, messed up and they left again.

    • Chantal says:

      @ThatsNotOkay. I was on (Black) Twitter a couple of days ago and many agreed to stay and fight his dis/misinformation campaigns- for now. Until another better platform is available, its still useful for a lot of people/companies.
      EM has been dubbed “Apartheid Clyde” and many are watching and waiting. We’re used to dealing with racists and other hateful people who own businesses we deal with. He’s just more public than others.
      It appears that no one is leaving this platform quietly 😂😂 Again I ask, genius where? At the rate he’s going, by the time these self imposed dumpster fires have been put out, he’ll be lucky to be a thousandaire…

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Thanks so much for that perspective, Chantal. And if we have to leave, burn it to the ground in the process

      • Haylie says:

        I fully expect that Musk, a fake free speech “activist” will start removing anyone who challenges him. He’s done it before.

    • Jennifer says:

      Most of your list is already winning these days :/

  4. Southern Fried says:

    Nailed it Kaiser! It certainly is entertaining to watch just how badly he can fail. Twitterdom has been ruthless towards him still. Douchebro is right. I’m sorry for all the employees getting shafted and hope they somehow come out of this mess okay.

  5. Izzy says:

    Gee, if only he hadn’t fired the head of legal. They might have been able to warn him about those pesky federal labor laws.

    • LightPurple says:

      And not just the head of legal. He fired all the managers in legal and most of the staff.

      • Lee says:

        Well, it’s not like he doesn’t have a legal department in place right? He may have fired many and hired many all at once. Or maybe just using outside counsel? This type of litigation would usually be hired by outside counsel anyway, I think. In house counsel just acts as a messenger often for these types of matters. Like outside counsel tells in house counsel what they need done – once outside counsel has been retained. Either way, messy messy.

  6. Concern Fae says:

    Truth is verification as it exists now is ending. The $8 blue checks will have no identity check involved. Elon is pulling all the current blue checks unless they pay up, but why should they if blue checks are just going to mean you are a member of Elon’s zombie hoard.

    The blue check system was put in place after lawsuits over people being impersonated on Twitter and Twitter doing nothing about it. Yeah, some clowns, but also predators targeting minors saying they were various celebrities.

    What’s truly suspicious is he’s doing this all in a rush to have the sketchy blue checks in place the day before an important election where one side is promising to disrupt the voting and refuse to accept any losses. We also don’t know who gave Elon the $44 billion to buy Twitter wither. What are they paying for really?

    • kayfree says:

      I think we do know, right? It’s Saudi royals and Russian oligarchs, which is why the US government is reviewing the deal.

    • Maida says:

      It’s about “flooding the zone with sh^t,” in the words of Steve Bannon. When a blue check no longer comes with identity verification, it’s MUCH harder to tell what’s legitimate information. And that’s the point. Dave Troy is great on all this — I recommend looking up what he’s written. He seems to have the most complete (and most depressing) view of where all this is headed.

      • ACEMOM2 says:

        Dave Troy is one of my best reads on Twitter. It’s rather frightening (and yes, depressing) but he really seems to be spot on as to where this is all heading. We should all be paying attention!!

  7. Meredith says:

    I’m certainly no fan of Musk, but as far as I know, in most parts of the USA there are at-will clauses in their employment contracts, right? There is in mine. So as long as Musk pays out unemployment and severance, I’m not sure what actual grounds for a lawsuit there are?

    • Bonnie says:

      While at-will clauses apply to individuals, there is the federal WARN Act which applies in mass layoff cases, which this is. There is also CA WARN Act which includes very steep fines if violated.

      I’m not an expert; here’s references:

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      Yeah I’m not sure what he did was illegal. Think of the recent Peloton layoffs, a company with well over 100 employees. Those guys got no warning in several rounds of layoffs. I see posts on LinkedIn all the time saying they were laid off in mass layoffs where they got no warning. I’m not sure the Twitter employees have a leg to stand on in this lawsuit. Also I went on the WARN website and they mention this:

      “Is an economic crisis considered to be an unforeseen business circumstance?
      If an employer believes their situation is the result an economic crisis, it may apply the unforeseen business circumstance exception; however, there could be a burden on the employer to prove why it could not plan 90 days in advance.”

      Basically if a business is failing (like Peloton was due to massive unsustainable growth in such a short amount of time), they can do mass layoffs without warning. Elon could argue Twitter was unprofitable and an “unforeseen business circumstance.” But I do admire the employees and are rooting for them! Elon deserves al the litigation he gets.

      • Bettyrose says:

        You have to document the business’s economic hardships and need for “restructuring.” I don’t recall all the details but when I worked for a tech company in the early 00s that conducted mass layoffs there was a huge amount of dotting i’s and crossing t’s.

        Firing and layoffs are different things, but even an “at will” firing doesn’t protect an employer from a discrimination lawsuit. If the employer hasn’t documented performance issues they can’t just fire someone without exposing themselves to a potentially costly lawsuit. Likewise if the company hasn’t documented a financial hardship they can’t just mass-layoff people without risk of a costly class action. Love to see it.

    • Becks1 says:

      at-will means you can be terminated at any time for any reason EXCEPT for an illegal reason or in an illegal manner.

      Basically trust that the lawyers handling this class action know this stuff better than non-lawyers who are not experts in employment or labor law.

      Does it mean they’re going to win? No, not necessarily. But just because your employment K reads a certain way or another company was able to get away with something does not mean that what Elon Musk is doing is legal. Or even if it is ultimately found to be legal, it may still be worth the fight.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Exactly. The government agencies handling fair employment laws don’t have the resources to fight these battles. That’s what the courts are for. Musk’s lawyers are probably some of the best but you don’t know what’s going to happen in a courtroom.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        What you said. And as it has been pointed out, this was in direct violation of an existing law on the books. I am sure Elon doesn’t care because he thinks he can just beat anything.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “I’m not sure what actual grounds for a lawsuit there are?”

      It’s literally discussed in the article excerpt above.

      “The class action lawsuit filed Thursday alleges Twitter is in violation of the federal 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.””

      • Bettyrose says:

        When I was part of a tech company mass layoff, they gave us severance in lieu of warning, which I believe is totally legal. The employees might be walking away with fat severance checks and signed NDAs. But this is Musk. And he’s an enemy to workers rights everywhere. So he maaay have f’ked this up.

  8. Shanaynay says:

    I am officially quitting Twitter (Twatter) now that this SOB owns it. Bye Felicia!!

  9. Eurydice says:

    I don’t think that’s right, but maybe someone here knows for sure. I think the 50 employees rule is for closing a plant or facility. Otherwise, it’s 500 employees at a single place of employment. And there are exceptions for a company that’s trying to raise money and some kind of loophole for unexpected events. There are consultants who specialize in downsizing companies. It’s hard for me to believe that Musk would try to do this all by himself, but who knows, this has looked like a mess so far.

    One thing I do know is that when you fire someone, you have cut off their access to the company systems right away.

  10. Seraphina says:

    Is he related to Trump???

    • Flowerlake says:

      Not sure, but he is dumb enough to go after AOC, who is very good at owning people.

      As she demonstrated yet again 😀

      • Seraphina says:

        I forgot to add that I was being sarcastic because he’s exhibiting the same asinine behavior Trump does.

      • Flowerlake says:

        That was obvious, no worries :D.
        Here in Europe, almost everything is sarcastic, including my “not sure”
        comment to yours.

    • Colby says:

      He’s Trump if trump actually had money.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Trump could only dream of Musk’s childhood in an apartheid state mining resources and living off the wealth of someone else’s land. Can you imagine? He probably has a portrait of Musk over his bed.

  11. LightPurple says:

    The $8 verification fee is totally arbitrary and not based upon any sort of cost analysis. He announced it was $20 and then a few hours later dropped it down to $8 in a response to a complaint from Stephen King.

    People go to Twitter because they can exchange ideas with the likes of Stephen King and Mark Hamill and Patricia Arquette and have interactions with them. Musk is stupidly killing that and for whom? And I’m fed up with every single stupid tweet of his showing up on my feed. I don’t follow him yet all I see now is him, the Daily Wire, Ted Cruz, and Marjorie Taylor Green. Unbidden, unwanted. Platform destroyed.

  12. Dana says:

    I love this for him.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    In the UK twitter employee’s were told to stay and home and wait for an email to see if you were still employed – if you got an email to your personal account you were fired. Apparently employees are saying that they had their company laptops remotely wiped at 3am UK time and were locked out of their Twitter email addresses. He’s just broken a SHIT TON of UK/EU employment laws.

  14. Abby says:

    What an absolute disaster. I feel like social media companies are always a bit more… tenuous? than other kinds of companies. They depend on users, and users are fickle.

    Anyway, this is just like watching a car crash. I feel bad for the employees, honestly.

  15. Soni says:

    As someone who had to handle WARN notices for my previous company at the beginning of the pandemic, I don’t understand how Twitter’s in-house/outsourced lawyers could have messed this up so badly. This is labor law 101. What a bunch of fools.

    • TIFFANY says:

      He fired the legal department.

      • Eurydice says:

        It’s not about the legal department, just about hiring some experts. There are lawyers and consultants who specialize in downsizing – the legal aspects, the timing, the PR, employment counselling and outplacement, etc.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        He’d have to be willing to listen to experts, which I doubt he’d do. He’s like Trump. I went to law school with folks whose Big Law firms Trump’s team tried to hire to deal with the campaign messes of *2016*. They all turned him down not just because he doesn’t pay his bills, but also because he doesn’t listen to counsel. I suspect Elon is the same.

      • Soni says:

        I think Eurydice and Lizzie are right- he must not be listening to counsel/experts because even if there no one left in the internal legal department, Twitter definitely has major law firms on retainer. He must not be listening to anyone. These guys think they know better than everyone else and many times that’s what leads them into trouble- their egos.

  16. Colby says:

    Elon is panicking, as he should. Twitter is not profitable, and now he has a loan with $1b in interest a year. Firing half the staff will barely put a dent in that.

    He will start selling data more as advertisers flee and people don’t pay for a blue check.

    Galaxy brain here has no clue how to run a business well. Tesla and SpaceX are both total dumpster fires. The are propped up by govt subsidies.

  17. Arralethe says:

    *Laughs evilly in Bezos*

  18. AmyB says:

    What in God’s name is his reasoning for firing all these employees?? Besides being a fascist class A dick?? I hope this class action suit succeeds – WTF.

    I wasn’t on Twitter all that much, and mostly for the funny memes lol, but BUH-BYE 🤣

    • Eurydice says:

      Maybe the reason is that Twitter isn’t profitable? It’s only had a net profit in two of the 9 years it’s been a public company.

  19. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Again, he’s enjoying watching it burn.

  20. Flowerlake says:

    People are mocking his fanboys for being suck-ups.
    Lots of fun memes.

  21. PaperclipExtraordinaire says:

    He’s gonna strip it and sell it for parts. The data alone could be a boon. Either that or he’s going to flip it once it’s nothing for it’s ‘potential” lol. Likely won’t recoup his losses either way, but he’ll spin it into a victory nonetheless. Shame.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I actually wonder if his tantrum over bots was because he realized (after he committed to the purchase) that the prevalence of bots made the user data less valuable than he’d assumed when he made the offer.

  22. Lucy says:

    Mmmmmm both Musk and Twitter going up in flames? I love this for us.

  23. Sean says:

    The accounts I follow have taken screenshots of their checkmarks and made them the banners for their accounts.

    So how’s that whole “charging for checkmarks” going for you, Elon?

  24. CopyPesto says:

    He’s also demanding the employees who didnt get fired work 12 hour days every day. I understand people can’t strike or quit for financial reasons, but I wish they could just abandon the company.

    Then again, that’s probably what Elon wants. That way he can outsource the software engineering, which will be significantly cheaper for him.

  25. tealily says:

    Are firings via email a *thing* these days, or is that completely out of line too? It’s clearly crass and wrong, but I have no idea what goes on in the corporate world.

    • Dara says:

      I’m curious about that too. Are the tech firms doing it differently now? I’ve worked for some old-school corporations (in business for close to a century) and every layoff or downsizing I’ve witnessed or been part of has come face to face with a manager and HR person. Although I know someone who worked for a tech company that did a mass layoff by filling their lobby with empty banker’s boxes. If a box had your name on it, you were done – the box was so you could pack up your desk efficiently.

  26. Miss Owlsyn says:

    The most fascinating part of this is that Musk may have taken away his ex-girlfriend’s Twitter account. That’s some ish right out of The Social Network.

  27. Aviva2 says:

    Elon = Liz Truss of Twitter.

  28. JDInoak says:

    I’m a HR professional and this is MIND BLOWING….it’s literally layoff 101 to know the WARN Act….like it’s agiven if you’ve worked for any company that has gone through these situations that there’s knowledge….and it’s beyond basics for employment attorneys – who usually are the ones who write the layoff letters! I actually can’t comprehend how any legal or HR professional could have sat in on any meeting about this without having a total meltdown……what a shitshow

  29. Michele says:

    I miss my Twitter friends, too. It’s like a ghost town. A boring-ass ghost town.

  30. usavgjoe says:

    Musk needs to understand unlike the Authoritarian countries he plays footsie with America ain’t one [THANK GOD], and all those employees are going to sue the pants off him he has not heard of the EEO well they gonna get close and personal with him. In America you have to have a pretty good damn reason to fire an employee, and it better be performance based. This is no Putin rigging. May your Tesla car company suffer itself out of existence.

    • JK35 says:

      Actually, you can fire someone for basically any reason at any time as long as it’s not discrimination. There’s no law-suit for firing them.

      • Aviva2 says:

        That isn’t true, which is why former employees are already suing him.

      • JK35 says:

        Not unless they had contracts. I don’t think 50k had contracts. I still think he was drunk/drugged when he bought it.

      • BeanieBean says:

        This is certainly not true for the federal employee. You’d better have a darned good, well-documented reason for firing a federal employee.

      • Shanaynay says:

        Not true for my situation. I’m a federally employee, and the only reason why I might be fired is if I killed someone. Otherwise, I’m fully covered by my union and won’t be going anywhere. Thankfully!!!!!

  31. Miss Owlsyn says:

    And he isn’t even a full Scaramucci into his tenure…..

  32. Elsa says:

    I deleted my twitter and I miss certain things. I used to love to tweet watch shows with strangers from around the world. It was an addicting community all freaking out together over an unforeseen plot twist.

  33. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve been watching for this for the last few years: Musk has finally lost ALL his sh*t.

  34. Valerie says:

    For the past few years Musk has been having one hell of a mid-life crisis.

  35. Delphine says:

    Apparently he fired the top executives for cause so he would not have to pay their golden parachutes and they are now suing him as well.

  36. jferber says:

    Diddy invested 10 million with Elon on this. Given Musk’s right-wing views, Sunny’s question about white women springs to mind.

  37. BettyQ says:

    Of course they are. On what grounds do these entitled twits have to sue? Look around. Companies including Google, meta, and a laundry list of others are laying off right now. Additionally, many states are right to work states (like IL and they have offices there) which means any company can terminate employee relationship without reason. Wake up. There are massive layoffs everywhere right now. Hang out on LinkedIn and see for yourself🙄 Twitter is hemorrhaging $4m a day. They obviously need to do something. You all are just pissed that the right will no longer be censored on Twitter.