Elon Musk's Twitter Mass Layoffs Have Begun: 'Has The Red Wedding Started?'

There are also questions about the company's compliance with the WARN Act.

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By Gabrielle Bienasz Originally published

Twitter layoffs have begun.

The layoffs come a week after Elon Musk, the world's richest man and CEO of companies including SpaceX and Tesla, purchased the social media company.

Musk has already fired top executives including former CEO Parag Agrawal and has moved to lay off about half of Twitter's 7,500-person global workforce.

Elon Musk Lays Off Twitter Employees

On Thursday, Twitter employees were told they would find out whether or not they were laid off on Friday — and a host of people did.

At least one of Twitter's official layoff emails reads, in part, as follows, per Insider.

"As shared earlier today, Twitter is conducting a workforce reduction to help improve the health of the company. These decisions are never easy and it is with regret that we write to inform you that your role at Twitter has been impacted.

Today is your last working day at the company, however, you will remain employed by Twitter and will receive compensation and benefits through your separation date of February 2, 2023."

The email also serves as confirmation to a certain extent employees will receive some sort of compensation or severance.

Laid-off employees have now begun to post to Twitter with the hashtags #lovewhereyouworked and #oneteam.

As Musk was going to buy the company, there were reports that he would cut 75% of staff. But the new Twitter CEO denied the accounts.

However, a Slack message circulated Wednesday implied 3,738 would be fired, about half of the company's employees, the New York Times reported.

According to the outlet, on Thursday, an employee wrote on Slack asking if the "Red Wedding" had started — and minutes later, Twitter sent out an email to all of its employees informing them that layoff notifications would begin Friday.

"In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday," the email said.

The email further said that if you were laid off, workers would find out via their personal emails by 9 a.m. PST on Friday, and if they were still employed, would receive an email through their work accounts.

"We acknowledge this is an incredibly challenging experience to go through, whether or not you are impacted," the company email added.

"It's a break-up by text," one employee affected by the layoffs told Insider.

The removals reportedly started ahead of the 9 a.m. Friday email. People began to be locked out of their work accounts, which led many of them to assume they were on the list of people to cut.

"By closer to 11 pm PT, more than 1,000 people at Twitter had lost their jobs, according to employees and messages seen by Insider," the outlet wrote.

Twitter employees said goodbye on Slack, and people hung around the company's office on Thursday having drinks, per the NYT.

There are also questions as to whether the company followed the WARN ACT. In California's version, employers are required to give notice 60 days before a "mass layoff."

As of Thursday, California's Employment Development Department has not received the relevant notice from Musk, it told the NYT.

A Twitter employee who said they were fired Tuesday filed a related class action lawsuit Thursday.

Some people, however, are not sorry to see the back of the place. "I'm actually relieved," a laid-off worker told Insider.

Others are concerned about severance payments, especially if they are starting families imminently.

It's also clear it will be a different culture for those who remain. Per the Times, Twitter's monthly "Days of Rest," were removed from calendars. One employee Tweeted a picture of herself sleeping at the office.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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