SAN FRANCISCO - A group of former employees filed a lawsuit, even before the doors opened at Twitter Headquarters Friday. The lawsuit cautioned about violations of California's WARN Act that requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees to provide at least 60 calendar days' notice of a closure or layoff affecting 500 or more employees at a single site of employment.
"I spoke with some employees including one who got laid off on Tuesday with no notice and others who got locked out of their systems last night without any information about what was going on," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, a labor attorney who is representing the former Twitter workers in the lawsuit and has worked on other cases involving Tesla and various tech companies.
Liss-Riordan, said they filed the lawsuit preemptively, to protect any Twitter employees getting layoff notices Friday.
"We're also going to be looking into how the layoffs were selected, whether there was any discrimination or retaliation involved," said Liss-Riordan, "The company would have to release information on the ages of employees who were selected for layoff and not selected for layoff. We look forward to reviewing that data and will be advising employees about their rights."
On Friday, strings of messages popped up on Twitter from employee accounts, as people posted farewells on the very platform they'd helped build.
One former employee said the tech team that was researching and building more ethical algorithms on Twitter is gone.
Musk pushed back Friday, trying to reassure advertisers. Several large companies including General Motors, Pfizer, and General Mills decided to pause their ads on the social media platform after Musk acquired the platform.
"Moderation rules and conduct rules have not changed, and we are continuing to enforce them," said Elon Musk.
In a tweet late Friday afternoon, Musk stated that Twitter's reduction in force was necessary because "there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day."
Musk stated that everyone laid off was offered three months of severance pay.
The company did end up sending a WARN letter to the city of San Francisco Friday, detailing the 784 jobs being cut in San Francisco.Those include 9 senior level officials, 147 mid-level officials, 592 professionals, 11 sales workers and 25 administration workers.
For many of the businesses along mid-market that had struggled from the pandemic, news of the layoffs hit hard.
"There's a lot of small businesses and small restaurants who are struggling right now. So for the local neighborhood I'm hoping people will come back to work. we'll see what happens," said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey.
Dorsey says he had contacted the city's Office of Workforce Development, which was alerting Twitter employees of services available to them.