Friday was a dark and anxiety-ridden day for tweeps as about half of the workforce was terminated in a Thanos-like snap. And, according to state filings, 784 employees laid off from Twitter worked in San Francisco, while another 106 were based in San Jose.
Twitter is in freefall. Ever since Elon Musk entered the company’s San Francisco headquarters carrying a sink, it appears the Twitter has gone down the drain.
Advertisers have left the social media platform in droves; over a million users exited the site after Musk's acquisition; a proposed $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription for verification status has frustrated countless users. And on Friday, the building frustrations climaxed in Musk's messy, likely illegal firing of an estimated 3,700 Twitter employees.
Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient. They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realize many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.— jack (@jack) November 5, 2022
To make matters worse: Employees found out if they lost their jobs in an email game of Russian roulette. A company-wide email sent from HR informed tweeps they could expect an email regarding their employment status Friday at 9 a.m. — the emails being sent to either their personal or professional addresses.
If the digital note was mailed to their @twitter.com account, it was (more than likely) that they skirted around the mass layoffs, unaffected. However, if the update email was received in their personal account, it (probably) meant termination.
I am grateful for, and love, everyone who has ever worked on Twitter. I don't expect that to be mutual in this moment...or ever…and I understand. 💙— jack (@jack) November 5, 2022
Per state records procured by the Chronicle, it appears the bulk of Twitter employees laid off were based in the Bay Area; the social media company operates six offices across the United States.
The Chronicle notes that Friday's Twitter layoffs in San Francisco included 592 employees — who were described as “professionals" — followed by 147 mid-level managers, and 25 administrative support workers; nine executives and senior managers were also let go.
As for workers in San Jose, the layoffs saw 85 professionals, 18 mid-level managers, two support workers, and one executive or senior manager let go from the company.
Twitter's layoff of regional employees represents one of the biggest mass layoffs seen in the Bay Area since the early stages of the pandemic in 2020.
The newspaper writes that Twitter, per law, was required to notify California officials about the layoffs as part of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act — a.k.a the "WARN Act," which the company likely violated.
Workers let go from the company have already begun the process of suing Twitter, filing a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco this week that alleges the company "failed to give at least 60 days advance notice to government officials," as required by the WARN act.
Hey Twitter employees getting laid off tomorrow! IMPORTANT INFO from a CA employment attorney (me):— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) November 4, 2022
CA's "WARN" law requires Twitter to give you 60 days notice of a massive layoff.
A layoff of 50+ employees within a 30 day period qualifies.
I know you didn't get that notice.
Companies that violate WARN Act face civil penalties of $500/day for each violation until resolutions have been agreed upon by affected parties. As Lisa Bloom, a trial lawyer fighting for victims of discrimination, harassment, and abuse wrote in an incredible Twitter thread that if the 3,700 tweeps let go successfully sued the company's new owner, such fines “could be significant, though maybe not to Elon.”
These terminations have gutted entire teams of engineers and have raised cause for concern of misinformation running rampant on the platform ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections. Musk has also told staff to find $1B annually in savings from infrastructure costs; hosting servers and cloud services will be affected, which the reports from Gizmodo warn puts the social media utility at security risks.
The Chronicle states that these terminations would be in effect on January 4th, and the affected workers would also be compensated for all their wages and benefits through that date. Though, this information doesn't add up with the fact that many Twitter workers lost log-in access to their work emails, internal communication channels, and other work-related assets Thursday night.
Earlier Saturday, Jake Dorsey, the company's former CEO and co-founder, tweeted his own remorse on how this situation has played out.
"I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation, '' Dorsey writes. "I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that."
Let this be yet another example as to why the existence fo each and every billionaire is an instance of failed public policy.
Photo: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff