Twitter employees in San Francisco, New York, Dublin and elsewhere got their emails Thursday night and into Friday morning informing them whether or not they still had jobs with the company. And many spent their Thursday evening on Slack sending love and emojis to each other, until their access got cut.

It's been a stressful week inside Twitter by all accounts, and things came to a head last night as some of the first notifications started going out to laid off employees — and, just as the "Layoff Guide" that circulated internally on Wednesday accurately predicted, many employees lost email and other account access before they even received their layoff notice.

As the New York Times reports, a company-wide email went out Thursday informing employees that the job cuts were about to begin.

The impersonal email, signed just "Twitter," reportedly said, "In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global work force. We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward."

As Twitterer and tech job site founder Chris Bakke quipped, "The layoff email from Twitter is the first email in history that should have been a meeting."

Employees keeping their jobs would receive emails via their accounts that their jobs were safe, they were told; employees losing their jobs would be informed via their personal accounts.

Knowing that the cuts were set to affect about 3,700 employees or around half the company, coworkers spent time Thursday night saying their last goodbyes on Slack channels — and, when their Slack access was cut, on Twitter itself.

"Tweeps are just hanging out in Slack saying nice things to each other until their access is cut off. I’ve never seen anything like it," tweeted tech reporter Casey Newton Thursday night. "Some really incredible people leaving Twitter tonight. We are all worse off without them there."

Newton added, "Twitter employees get endless shit, but the ones I knew — they worked hard, their work mattered, and they never stopped trying. Not until the moment their screens went blank."

While some may have expected Musk, given the financial position he finds himself in, to move quickly in reducing the payroll at Twitter, gutting a company just days after you take it over isn't always the best plan.

As Jesse Lehrich, cofounder of the nonprofit Accountable Tech, tells the Times and says on twitter, such layoffs occurring just days before the midterm elections could also have "stark consequences" for the information ecosystem.

"There is nothing visionary or innovative about summarily firing [workers by email]," Lehrich tells the Times, noting that the loss of workers with "specialized expertise and deep institutional knowledge" can have unintended consequences, and this is all happening before Musk “even seems to have a basic grasp of the business."

Musk also may be in violation of state and federal law when it comes to conducting such a mass layoff — but perhaps his attorneys think they have a workaround?

A class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of laid-off Twitter employees, as Bloomberg first reported. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, argues that Musk's mass firing is in violation of the WARN Act — or the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 — which requires companies with 100 or more employees to provide 60 days notice of major layoffs.

The Times further notes that Musk could be violating his merger agreement as well, which stipulated that employee salary and benefit packages remain the same for at least one year. One benefit laid out in an internal document, per the Times, is that laid off employees "are typically paid at least two months’ salary and the cash value of equity they were scheduled to receive within three months of a layoff date."

But a curious detail via an email the Times saw from a New York-based Twitter employee suggests that while employees maybe getting laid off today, they may technically remain employees until February — which may be the way they're handling the WARN Act. "One New York-based worker received an email saying their job had been 'impacted' but that they would remain employed through a separation date in early February," the Times reports. "During this time, you will be on a Non-Working Notice period and your access to Twitter systems will be deactivated." Information about severance was said to be going out next week.

While the Twitter headquarters on mid-Market Street was closed to most employees on Friday — in an apparent effort to keep laid-off employees from walking off with company property? — those workers who are keeping their jobs are being called back into the office and they were reportedly told the building would reopen Monday.

The SF Chronicle reports that The Market, the grocery store/food hall in the base of Twitter HQ, saw daily sales get about a 30% boost this past week since Musk has been forcing more of the company's staff back into the office.

Previously: Musk Reportedly Laying Off 50% of Twitter Staff, Layoffs to Begin Friday

Top image: Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images