Twitter has laid off more than 950 employees in California after Elon Musk took over, a WARN notice shows

Twitter has laid off more than 950 employees in California after Elon Musk took over, a WARN notice shows

The Twitter profile page belonging to Elon Musk is seen on an Apple iPhone mobile phone.

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After Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter last week, the social media giant embarked on a precipitous downsizing of its workforce. The cuts affect a total of 983 employees in California, its home state, according to three notification letters the company sent to regional authorities and obtained by CNBC.

The company’s new owner, CEO and sole director Musk, wrote in a tweet on Friday afternoon: “Regarding the reduction in Twitter’s power, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4 million a day. Everyone who left was offered 3 months severance pay, which is 50% more than is legally prescribed.”

Twitter’s power cuts have spread beyond California, and CNBC could not immediately confirm whether Musk’s description was accurate. A loss of $4 million a day at the company would represent an annual loss of about $1.5 billion.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN) requires employers to provide advance notice, usually within 60 days, of mass layoffs or plant closings in California.

According to letters from Twitter, shared by the California Department of Employment, Twitter notified affected employees on Nov. 4. Many of those workers described losing access to email and other internal Twitter systems overnight on Nov. 3 in public posts on social media, including Twitter itself.

This type of arrangement can serve as a “payment in lieu of notice”, in California depending on the specific conditions of employment. Permanent outages are expected to begin in January 2023, according to WARN notices.

In three separate California WARN warning letters, signed by Twitter’s Human Resources Department but not by individual executives, the company wrote: “Affected employees will be paid all wages and other benefits to which they are entitled through the date of termination.”

According to the WARN notice, Twitter has terminated approximately 784 workers San Franciscoincluding nine executive and senior officers or managers, 147 mid-level employees who typically reported directly to top executives, 592 other professionals, and 36 sales and administrative support workers combined.

At the company’s satellite locations in Santa MonicaTwitter has laid off approximately 93 employees, including 17 officers and mid-level managers, 66 professionals and 10 combined sales and administrative support workers, the WARN notice showed.

At a San Jose officeTwitter has laid off approximately 106 employees, including one executive or senior officer or manager, 18 officers and mid-level managers, 85 professionals and two administrative support workers, according to the WARN notice.

Twitter was sued on Thursday by former employees in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by labor rights attorney Shannon Liss Riordan and others who were concerned that employees were not due notice givenunder federal and California law, to be terminated by mass layoffs.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a labor rights attorney representing the fired Twitter employees, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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