Twitter still hasn’t sent out severance contracts, and former employees are demanding answers

As Twitter laid off nearly half of its 7,500 employees in early November 2022, new CEO Elon Musk said approved that “all terminated employees were offered three months of severance pay, which is 50% more than what is legally required”.

While the terminated employees received two months’ salary until January 4 (the official date of their termination), they have no indication of when or if they will receive severance pay after their termination.

“I haven’t had any communication,” Helen-Sage Lee, a former Twitter employee, told Forbes on Thursday. “There has been no communication from Twitter headquarters regarding severance, separation agreements or next steps. »

Another former employee told Forbes that he, too, received “no severance pay and no information related to federal benefits that allow former employees to keep their health insurance.”

Although Musk promised they would receive an extra monthly salary as severance pay, these workers say they are still owed more than what Twitter, as a company, has agreed to pay. pay before the acquisition of the billionaire. This severance package should also include bonuses, stock acquisitions, and other perks that can total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per employee.

Neither Twitter attorney Eric Meckley nor Elon Musk himself responded to Forbes’ request for comment.

Because of Twitter’s inaction, a Boston attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, announced Thursday that she has filed another 100 arbitration claims on behalf of former Twitter employees. Arbitration is a quasi-legal process that generally favors companies over individual workers, and many companies require employees to take their disputes to arbitration instead of taking them to court.

These 100 new demands are in addition to four lawsuits, three complaints filed with the National Labor Relations Board and a previous round of 100 arbitration demands he and his firm have already filed, mostly based on similar laws.

In one of the lawsuits brought by Mrs. Liss-Riordan, known as Cornet v. Twitter, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled last month that the company is required to mention in severance agreements for former employees that it faces multiple pending class action lawsuits. However, Twitter has yet to do this. (Twitter also argued that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that it should be decided by arbitration — a San Francisco judge will hold a hearing on that particular issue later this month).

If former employees sign the severance agreement – ​​whatever it is – they’re likely to give up their right to sue the company.

“It’s a big surprise that they haven’t sent anything,” Liss-Riordan told Forbes. “We don’t know what Elon Musk is thinking. »

Other lawyers in Los Angeles and New York also filed comparable arbitration claims on behalf of former employees late last year.

Lisa Bloom, the lead attorney at her own Los Angeles-based firm, The Bloom Firm, which now represents former Twitter employees, told Forbes via email that her other clients had similar experiences.

“Twitter workers received their two months of continuous base pay and some (but not all) of their benefits for two months, from November 4 to January 4,” he wrote. “The promised third month did not come. »

For her part, Ms. Liss-Riordan remains puzzled, citing the Twitter CEO’s tweets on Thursday. “The last tweet I saw from him was about Kevin McCarthy, so he was really focused on his former employees,” she observed wryly.

Translated article from Forbes US – Author: Cyrus Farivar

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