At Twitter, a wave of extremely brutal layoffs

The threat loomed. It fell Friday, November 4 on the employees of Twitter, the social network bought just a week ago by Elon Musk. The richest man in the world had already hinted that he was going to proceed with a vast job reduction plan. He did not wait long to take action with very brutal communication and methods.

Thursday, November 3, the approximately 7,500 employees of the social network received a message inviting them not to go to the office the next day. “The premises are temporarily closed, access badges suspended”, warned the company. Employees are therefore asked to stay at home. And to wait impatiently to receive this Friday a next message which will inform them of their fate.

Personal messaging for licensees

According to an internal company document, nearly half of the employees are affected by this wave of layoffs. Those whose employment is not called into question will receive the good news during the day on their professional e-mail. On the other hand, warns the company, “if your job is concerned, you will receive a message with the next steps on your personal email”.

Without even waiting for the deadline, set for this Friday at the end of the day, some employees were already under no illusions. They understood their fate when they saw that their access to the company’s servers was suddenly disconnected. This is what, for example, Rachel Bonn, a marketing employee, says on… her twitter account.

On the social network, several employees tell the same experience. Some, including pregnant women, worry about suddenly losing their health insurance, linked to their employment contract.

Whether they stay or leave, employees are nevertheless invited to be discreet. The company thus reminds them that they are required to “Continue to abide by Twitter’s policies that prohibit you from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press, or elsewhere.”

Lack of protective legislation

The company gave no details on the extent of the cuts being made, confining itself to justifying the need to put the company on “a healthy trajectory”. But in certain preliminary exchanges to his takeover, Elon Musk did not hide his desire to operate a very large household. He would thus have hinted at his desire to lay off half of the workforce and deplored that Twitter account “ten people who manage for every person who codes”reports the Walls Street Journal.

If the brutality of the processes implemented may surprise in Europe, the United States are on the other hand accustomed to the images of employees escorted to the exit, their belongings in a small box, supervised by security guards.

“Employment relationships in the United States are, unless otherwise provided by contract, governed by the principle of ‘at-will employment’ which implies that either the employee or the employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time. , without justifying a particular reason and without notice to be respected “recalls the site Transatlantic Lawyer.

However, the legislation has provided some safeguards, especially in larger companies. Several American lawyers specializing in labor law have thus recalled, including on Twitter, that companies with more than 100 employees must respect a two-month notice.

This notice was set by a 1988 law, the Warn Act, passed by a Democratic majority against the advice of Ronald Reagan. However, the sanctions for non-compliance with the procedures are only financial and relatively limited, with the payment of compensation reaching a maximum of two months’ salary of the dismissed employee. A visibly little dissuasive amount for Elon Musk who has already put more than 40 billion euros on the table to take over Twitter.


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