Will Musk keep his promises after thousands rejected Twitter’s ultimatum?

After thousands of employees reportedly rejected Elon Musk’s ultimatum this week to adhere to the new “hardcore” culture or get out, both the outgoing and the rest of the staff are left with one big question: What happens now?

People who thought they took buys are wondering if Musk will try calling them back for business. Laid-off workers do not know what kind of bonus they are getting or if it will appear at all. Those urged to stay have no idea what Musk’s plan is for them or the company.

According to one former employee, Musk spent Thursday meeting with engineers to try to entice them to stay, while meeting “goons” outside the company — a mix of employees pulled from other Musk ventures and many supportive men in the billionaire’s orbit — the company’s nominally less important sectors. . (The former and former Twitter employees agreed to speak for this article on the condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation from Musk.)

In what the former employee described as a case of a no-clothes emperor, the only argument anyone seemed able to make as to why employees could trust Musk’s leadership was his past business successes. Plus the possibility of the people who stay getting rich.

However, the company did not provide any specific compensation agreements, the former employee continued, and Musk did not offer a broader plan or strategic vision.

The platform’s trajectory seems to change every few days under Musk. Efforts to adjust how the platform’s user verification system works have fallen behind, and the drive toward premium subscriptions has left the platform’s user base wondering what the pay-to-play schedule will look like. some have forecast Musk is aiming to make Twitter more user-friendly for pornography.

In a farewell message on Twitter, Peter Close — whose LinkedIn page still identifies him as the company’s senior software engineer — cited Musk’s lack of a clear game plan as the catalyst for his departure from the company.

“There was no shared vision with us,” Close said Wrote. “No 5-year plan like Tesla. Nothing more than anyone can see on Twitter. Allegedly coming for those who stayed but the request was blind faith and required signing a class offer before seeing it. A test of pure loyalty.”

Severance pay has figured prominently in questions from employees and former employees about their and the company’s future.

“It remains unclear what the actual reward will be for anyone and all people in all stages of layoffs,” said one former product designer whose role was cut on November 4. Already with no termination information.

Email Twitter HR sent Nov. 4, copy from The Times After the review, he said the let go employees will receive details of the severance offer within a week.

That was more than two weeks ago. However, employees say, nothing came of it.

The designer is now part of Twitter’s “inactive” workforce — still a technical employee as of February, getting paid in the meantime, but not doing any actual work. Severance is supposed to start after that limbo ends, according to company emails reviewed by The Times, however, it’s not clear what that will look like.

Musk has claimed several times that laid-off employees will receive severance pay for three months: once in a tweet He described that plan as “50% more than legally required”, and repeatedly In the email he sent to the employees he offered them an ultimatum.

The former designer said via email that “no information” was given about what the waiver process would look like, and nothing “official” to sign. It’s not even clear what Musk means by being 3 months out of the service: “3 months salary? 3 months severance?” He does. [Musk] Considering salary and severance pay the same? “

“The lack of proper preparation and communication for layoffs builds frustration in people,” said the outgoing designer. “Since we are still technically employed…we have to handle this frustration very carefully, as we want to prevent continued dismissals for what may result in loss of salary up to the date of dismissal and also loss of compensation.”

Q&A attached to HR email of November 4, used by The Times As reviewed, he said the severance pay will be sent about 45 days after the employees’ non-working periods have ended. However, this can get complicated lately reports Insider’s Kali Hays reports that Twitter’s entire payroll department has quit (although some accountants remain).

Another former employee confirmed that severance packages had not yet been issued, and had no information about healthcare coverage for laid-off employees. According to the former designer, employees have been given one email address to send in questions about the layoff, but no one seems to be answering them.

Before Musk took over, the product designer said, Twitter’s severance package included a minimum of two months’ salary plus a metered performance bonus and extended work visa support.

“Most of us have attorneys in place where we expect terminations to not follow sooner [pre-Musk] said the designer. If Twitter claims that the payment made during the inactivity period is in fact severance pay, “we are preparing a potential class action lawsuit with the affected tweeters,” also known as Twitter employees.

The former employees considering legal action against Musk have reportedly contacted three law firms.

“We are all waiting for the details of the chapter to be legally disclosed,” said the designer, but the lawyers consulted “believe we have a strong claim and are entitled to the original chapter.” [2 months salary + 3 months vesting/bonus and visa coverage]. “

At the beginning of November, Musk laid off nearly 50% of the company, promising two to three months’ severance for those who left. He was sued almost immediately by former employees who alleged that Musk had violated federal and state labor laws on mass layoffs.

Laura Reathaford, a California employment attorney with Lathrop GPM, said Musk’s email calling for employees to adhere to a “hardline” work culture effectively constitutes terminating the employment of those who don’t want to stay.

“He made an offer to resign and took a three-month severance package,” Rethaford said. “If someone accepts this offer, it looks like it can be enforced.”

Musk could change his mind and decide not to fire everyone who didn’t opt-in to the new Twitter, or not offer compensation, but employees don’t have to play by his rules. “In any contract negotiation, either party can change their mind, and the other party can decide whether they want to continue the negotiations,” Rethaford said.

Employees can go after Musk in two ways: breach of contract or a so-called “malicious reliance,” according to Lloyd Greif, CEO of investment bank Greif & Co. The first is based on the fact that Musk’s email is effectively an oral contract, even if it’s not a formal written contract signed by both parties. The second can be pursued when one party relies on a promise made by another party and suffers harm or loss because of it. In this case, employees rely on the promise of three months severance pay when they are out of work and looking for a new job.

“I think it’s an open-and-shut case,” Greif said. “The only thing that can prevent that is bankruptcy” – If Musk files for bankruptcy, that’s likely the only way to get rid of employee severance pay.

Some laid-off employees could successfully file discrimination cases against Musk, the lawyers said, especially older employees, those on parental leave, or those affected on the basis of race or gender.

The current Twitter anarchy, surprising though it may be in its scale and speed, does not come entirely without warning. It comes after months of acquisition drama during which the company’s fate seemed to swing back and forth every few weeks.

Musk ended his control of the platform on October 28 after trying to back out of an acquisition he had begun in April. Since then, Twitter’s ranks have been dented by uncertainty and fear about the fate of their jobs and a platform in which many employees seem genuinely emotionally invested.

More and more managers and employees have quit over the past few weeks or been fired for criticizing or speaking out against Musk in public or, it is said, in internal channels, until Musk’s edict this week on the new “hardcore” culture.

“There was no retention plan for those who stayed,” Close, the former software engineer, wrote in his farewell tweet. “No clear upside to keeping it in sight through the storm. Just ‘trust us’ style verbal promises.”

He added, “But, strikers were generally not confident after 7 months of possession drama.”

Twitter no longer has an official communications team and could not be reached for comment.

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