That three-months severance for laid-off Twitter employees is more like a one-month severance, does not include owed bonus and stock money, and comes with a lifelong commitment to testifying on Twitter’s behalf in lawsuits.
Given the rash of financial problems and lawsuits facing Elon Musk's Twitter, it’s not exactly shocking that the severance packages being offered to thousands of laid-off employees turn out to be far less than what was originally promised. What is surprising, as seen in the tweet below whose details have been confirmed by Business Insider, is that the laid-off staffers “just received their separation agreements in their spam folders, pointing to a URL that was registered this morning from a vendor with a 1 star BBB rating.”
if you were wondering about the current state of twitter, many folks just received their separation agreements in their spam folders, pointing to a URL that was registered this morning from a vendor with a 1 star BBB rating. if still there, I would have reported this as phishing.— parker lyons (@tweetsbyparker) January 7, 2023
While the laid-off Twitter employees lost their jobs in early November, their actual separation and severance offers did not come through until last week. And CNN reports the severance offers were lower than promised, and came with bizarre conditions including a lifetime commitment to not saying anything bad about the company, and a similar commitment to testifying on Twitter’s behalf in court. Additionally, per CNN, “the severance offer does not include pro-rated bonuses or accelerated stock vesting for eligible employees, which could amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost funds for some affected workers.”
Yesterday was my last official day at Twitter. I was not offered “3 months of severance” nor was anyone, to my knowledge. I was offered zero. By Elon’s own admission, this is illegal. https://t.co/NVe2p4uopD— Erik Berlin (@sferik) January 5, 2023
The big sticking point for many ex-employees is that it’s one month severance rather than the initially promised three. Twitter essentially added the (paid) 60-day advanced notice Twitter required by certain state laws, and feeling the employees have already received their other two months severance. It’s dishonest language, but whether it's fair or not will be determined by courts, and as seen below in a tweet from an employment attorney, lawyers are certainly lining up.
And the coup de grace: Twitter workers who sign the agreement promise nondisparagement: they may not say anything negative about Twitter, nor its management, nor Elon.— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) January 9, 2023
No wonder so many folks are reaching out to me about rejecting this and filing claims.
The ironic part is the “non-disparagement agreement” clause, considering the Elon Musk sees himself as a “free speech” warrior, yet is contractually demanding people be silenced.
reading through a leaked copy of the twitter severance agreement and my god this is dogshit— alex tax1a - 2020 (3) (copy) 🏳️⚧️🍳 (@atax1a) January 8, 2023
"you will not knowingly encourage, counsel, or assist any attorneys or their clients in the presentation or prosecution of any disputes or claims" against twitter
Moreover, getting the one-month severance also requires that you do speak up, in court, whenever Musk asks for the reminder of your life. “The severance offer would also require that employees who sign agree not to cooperate as a witness in any legal actions brought by third parties against Twitter,” as CNN explains. “But they would also have to agree to cooperate on behalf of Twitter in its defense.”
-Tesla stock crashing— Nicholas Grossman (@NGrossman81) January 9, 2023
-Twitter likely facing lawsuits for not paying rent or severance
-Ukraine holding strong, West sending more tanks
-False voter fraud conspiracy theories don’t overthrow Brazil govt, lead to mass arrests
-Glass Onion well received
Bad few weeks for Elon Musk
Some may argue, perhaps fairly, the laid-off Twitter employees did get their three months pay, even if it was not technically severance, so they ought to be fine with it. But how did you feel when Biden promised a $2,000 stimulus check, and then it was only $1,400, because they counted the previous Trump stimulus check in the lump sum? This is similar, its fairness will likely be determined in court, or rather, several courts because of several different lawsuits.
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Twitter headquarters stands on Market Street on November 4, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Twitter Inc reportedly began laying off employees across its departments on Friday as new owner Elon Musk is reportedly looking to cut around half of the company's workforce. (Photo by David Odisho/Getty Images)