- After a two-month wait, fired Twitter employees got termination agreements from Elon Musk.
- The process for accessing the agreements was so strange that many workers fear a phishing attempt.
- Although the agreements are said to be legitimate, some affected workers say they will not sign them.
Hundreds of Twitter employees who were part of Elon Musk’s first round of layoffs have just received severance documents after a two-month wait. Now they must decide whether to sign or join suits against the company and its billionaire owner.
In the early hours of Saturday, former Twitter employees who were fired on Nov. 4 received a message from “email@example.com,” an email not associated with any internal department at the company, several people familiar with the situation said Insider.
The e-mail was classified as “spam” by most of the recipients. After being dug out of spam folders, the message directed people to a website operated by the CPT Group to access the full separation agreement.
“As you know, we have had to reduce our global workforce to ensure the success of the business and your employment has been impacted,” the website reads. “Since we informed you of your status you remain unemployed, employed and on the payroll and this will continue until your separation date. You are also entitled to additional severance pay if you sign a separation agreement and are fired. “
“Imagine waiting that long and then getting this”
Even before laid-off workers received their agreements, many debated whether or not they should give up their rights in exchange for a month’s severance pay. In comparison, workers at Facebook who were laid off received six months’ severance pay when that company implemented mass layoffs in November. Snap offered its employees a four-month severance package in late August.
One person who received an agreement said they chose not to sign, instead participating in one of the several lawsuits already filed or in the work related to Musk’s alleged violations of the merger agreement regarding welfare and severance payments . Numerous other affected employees have already agreed to participate in legal action. The person noted that if the agreements had come about sooner, she and other people might have been more inclined to sign them.
“Imagine waiting that long and then getting this,” the person said. This individual and others who spoke to Insider asked not to be identified when discussing private matters. A Twitter representative did not respond to a request for comment.
“This is Sketchy AF”
Everything from email spacing to redirecting to a website no one was familiar with put ex-employees on high alert. “This is sketchy AF,” one person wrote in a message. Another person noted that the long wait for severance documents has made many people “prime targets” for phishing attempts.
However, two people familiar with Twitter’s actions said the site was legitimate, noting that Twitter will disseminate any breakup or breakup agreements this way. The site also uses Twitter’s official blue and white bird logo, and the official breakup agreements are said to feature Musk’s signature.
Workers who were either fired or terminated around November 4 expect to receive severance agreements, two people familiar with the company said. However, those who resigned a few weeks later over Musk’s “Hardcore Twitter 2.0” email have so far not received an agreement to sign, the sources said.
As for the severance agreements, they appear to be mostly pre-packaged, offering laid-off employees one month’s wages as severance pay. On November 4 Musk tweeted that “all those who left” were offered 3 months’ severance pay, which was 50% more than required by law. The tech billionaire may have merged periods of “unemployed” employment that later saw thousands of workers continue to be paid since November while awaiting their severance pay. State labor laws require companies to comply with certain notice periods for mass redundancies.
To receive the one-month bonus, laid-off workers must sign the offered contract, which prohibits them from participating in legal proceedings against the company or speaking publicly or to the press via Twitter. Such clauses are typical of termination agreements.
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