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Elon Musk Accused of Violating Building Codes and Failing to Pay Severance, Lawsuit Claims Former employees say Musk instructed his team to break local and federal laws.

By Madeline Garfinkle Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California.

In late 2022, the San Francisco Department of Buildings launched an investigation into allegations Twitter had converted conference rooms into bedrooms. Now, city officials have opened a new investigation into the company for violating building codes after six former employees filed an explosive lawsuit against Elon Musk and the company, the San Francisco Chronicle reported

Joseph Killian, a plaintiff who was formerly the company's lead project manager of global design and construction, said Twitter CEO Elon Musk's team instructed him to violate building codes by disconnecting motion-sensitive lights and installing space heaters and door locks incapable of automatically unlocking in case of an emergency — all of which were violations of Twitter's lease and city safety standards.

According to the lawsuit, when Killian told Musk's team that the cheaper locks Musk wanted to install would prevent "first responders from being able to access the rooms" in case of an emergency, "nobody cared," and he quit that day.

Related: Elon Musk Says Remote Work Is 'Morally Wrong,' Calls It 'Messed Up'

The lawsuit accuses Twitter and its holding company X. Corp of 14 counts of violations including fraud, labor-rights laws and breach of contract.

Four of the six plaintiffs also allege that Musk did not pay promised severance, which they are seeking through the lawsuit along with punitive damages for "flagrant bad faith," the Chronicle reported.

Twitter is also facing lawsuits from its landlords in New York, London and San Francisco for allegedly not paying rent.

In a conversation that allegedly took place at 4 a.m., Musk's adviser Pablo Mendoza told one of the plaintiffs that Musk said he'd "only pay rent over his dead body," the lawsuit claims.

Related: California Judge Says Twitter Employees Must Be Informed of Potential Class Action Suit Related to Layoffs

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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