Former Twitter employees are set to finally receive their official severance agreements on Thursday after months of waiting and uncertainty, according to a person familiar with the matter and screenshots viewed by Fortune.
After Elon Musk took over the social media giant in late October, he made several sweeping changes which included laying off roughly three-fourths of the company’s staff of 7,500 in a series of cuts. Musk said in a tweet in November that affected employees would get “3 months of severance pay.” But many laid off employees have been left waiting to receive their official severance agreements, raising worries among some about what compensation, if any, the company would ultimately provide.
“I was laid off 2 months ago with thousands of coworkers, and I’ve never even seen a severance letter let alone been offered severance,” former Twitter employee Sam Stryker tweeted this week. The New York Times reported in December that Twitter was considering not paying severance packages to laid off employees amid Musk’s frantic efforts to save money.
According to the person familiar with the matter, the severance agreements being distributed on Thursday provide for laid off employees in the U.S. to receive one month of base pay as severance. Owing to conditions of the federal WARN Act, which requires employers to give a 60-day notice before mass layoffs, Twitter employees let go in November have been kept on the payroll and have received their regular salaries for the past 60 days. While those employees have been cut off from the company’s internal systems since November, they were officially terminated on Jan. 4, per regulatory requirements.
As many as 5,500 laid off Twitter employees are set to receive the official severance agreements, the source said.
A draft copy of the severance agreement viewed by Fortune explains that if the employee accepts the terms in the agreement, they will waive their right to partake in the three pending lawsuits against Twitter filed by former employees. The three lawsuits (Cornet v. Twitter, Borodaenko v. Twitter, and Strifling v. Twitter) all seek class action status.
The agreement also bars former employees from discussing the terms of the agreement or making any negative statements about the company or its leadership team, a fairly standard stipulation in severance agreements.
A variety of factors may have caused the apparent delay in distributing the severance agreements, including court motions related to employee lawsuits. According to Bloomberg, a judge ruled last month that Twitter must inform laid off workers in the severance agreements about the pending lawsuits filed by other former employees.
Many of Twitter’s internal operations have been thrown into disarray as a result of the deep cost cutting, including within Twitter’s human resources department, as well as the chaotic management since Musk acquired the company for $44 billion last year.
This month marks the departure of some HR employees who agreed to help with the transition, according to the New York Times; most recently joining them was the departing Katie Marcotte, a 10-year Twitter employee and the company’s acting head of human resources.
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