Musk-led Twitter laid off some employees by mistake, asks them to come back

Getty Images | Peter Dazeley

After layoffs targeting half the company, the Elon Musk-led Twitter is reportedly asking dozens of employees to come back.

“Some of those who are being asked to return were laid off by mistake, according to two people familiar with the moves. Others were let go before management realized that their work and experience may be necessary to build the new features Musk envisions, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information,” Bloomberg wrote.

On Friday, barely a week after Musk bought Twitter, the company moved ahead with a plan to lay off about 50 percent of its workforce. About 3,700 people were reportedly laid off. “Many employees learned they lost their job after their access to company-wide systems, like email and Slack, were suddenly suspended. The requests for employees to return demonstrate how rushed and chaotic the process was,” Bloomberg wrote.

Reports say that Twitter began asking laid-off workers to come back on Saturday. Business Insider quoted a source as saying that one “worker who Twitter asked to return rejected the offer because they felt ‘used, and think they will be fired again soon.'”

Paid verification delayed until after Tuesday election

Twitter is also reportedly delaying the implementation of Musk’s plan to verify accounts account for $8 a month until after Tuesday’s midterm elections. Twitter prematurely said on Saturday, in the release notes for an iOS app update, that the paid verification was being rolled out “starting today.” But a company official confirmed in a tweet that the change isn’t live yet.

The delay was also confirmed in news reports. “Twitter is delaying the rollout of account verifications for its paid Twitter Blue subscription plan until after the midterm elections, a source with knowledge of the decision confirmed to CNN,” the news site wrote.

The paid verification could be launched this week, however. The change “is being delayed until Wednesday to avoid potential chaos during the US midterm elections,” Bloomberg wrote. A week earlier, Musk reportedly ordered employees to make the change by November 7, which is today.

Meanwhile, five employees filed a class-action lawsuit against Twitter alleging that the layoffs violated the federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification laws, which required 60 days’ advance written notice before a mass layoff. Laid-off Tesla workers filed a similar lawsuit in June.

Musk defended the Twitter layoffs on Friday, writing that “unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day. Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.” A report by The Verge said layoffs were particularly extensive in Twitter’s “product trust and safety, policy, communications, tweet curation, ethical AI, data science, research, machine learning, social good, accessibility, and even certain core engineering teams.”



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