San Francisco investigating Twitter over fired janitors and office beds

San Francisco city officials are investigating Twitter following claims the company installed beds for workers and also fired union janitors without just cause.

The Department of Building Inspection (DBI) and the city attorney's office launched the separate investigations amid allegations the social media company and owner Elon Musk violated the law and city codes.

"Elon Musk has had a long history of flouting labor laws," San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu said. "We're going to be investigating what has happened here."

Union janitors with SEIU Local 87 have been on strike since Monday and said they were fired by Twitter without any negotiation and no new contract. They were not offered a severance package like laid off tech workers, said union president Olga Miranda.

"We're out of a job and this is nothing more than an assault on working families that are represented by contracts," she said. "This is a real David and Goliath fight. We didn't pick a fight with [Elon Musk]. He picked a fight with us."

The union workers said the move has affected 48 people and Twitter claims it already has a new contractor.

"They deserve to be treated with basic respect," State Sen. Scott Wiener said. "Elon Musk is treating them like garbage and it's not acceptable."

Musk did not reply to KTVU's request for comment regarding the city investigations.

City building inspectors said they will go inside Twitter this week after receiving a complaint offices have been turned into bedrooms for workers to sleep in.

Photos obtained by the BBC appear to show conference rooms converted to sleeping quarters and outfitted with bedroom furniture, as first reported by Forbes.

"We need to make sure the building is being used as intended," said Patrick Hannan with DBI. "Everyone in San Francisco deserved a safe place to live, work, play and sleep and no one is above the law."

The city said it treats all complaints and property owners the same and if the building doesn't meet code, a notice of violation will be issued.

Musk responded to reports of the investigation by questioning Mayor London Breed's priorities on his platform.

"The city attacks companies providing beds for tired employees instead of making sure kids are safe from fentanyl," Musk tweeted.

Breed's office told KTVU the city is required to investigate complaints and determine if there are any violations that have occurred calling it "a basic government responsibility." A spokesperson said the mayor is also focused on addressing the fentanyl crisis.

City officials said penalties for the alleged wrongdoings would be determined after the investigations are complete.

Brooks Jarosz is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email him at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU