Twitter run by Musk fired some employees by mistake and is asking them to return

Getty Images | Pierre Dazeley

After layoffs targeting half the company, the Elon Musk-run Twitter reportedly asked dozens of employees to return.

“Some of those being asked to return were fired in error, according to two people familiar with the moves. Others were fired before management realized their work and experience might be needed to build the new features Musk is considering, people said, asking not to be identified when discussing private information,” Bloomberg wrote.

On Friday, just a week after Musk bought Twitter, the company rolled out a plan to lay off around 50% of its workforce. Around 3,700 people are said to have been made redundant. “Many employees have learned that they lost their jobs after their access to company systems, such as email and Slack, was suddenly suspended. Return requests from employees show how rushed the process was and chaotic,” Bloomberg wrote.

Reports say Twitter began asking the laid-off workers to return on Saturday. Business Insider quoted a source as saying that a “worker who Twitter asked to return rejected the offer because he felt ‘used and thinks he will be laid off soon'”.

Paid verification postponed after Tuesday’s election

Twitter would also delay implementing Musk’s plan to verify $8-a-month accounts until after Tuesday’s midterm elections. Twitter prematurely announced in the release notes for an iOS app update on Saturday that paid verification was rolling out “starting today.” But a company official confirmed in a tweet that the change is not live yet.

The delay was also confirmed in news reports. “Twitter is delaying the rollout of account verifications for its Twitter Blue paid 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, however, be launched this week. The change “is postponed until Wednesday to avoid potential chaos in the U.S. midterm elections,” Bloomberg wrote. A week earlier, Musk reportedly ordered employees to make the switch by Nov. 7, which is today.

Meanwhile, five employees have filed a class action lawsuit against Twitter alleging the layoffs violate federal and state worker adjustment and retraining laws, which require 60 days written notice before a mass layoff. The fired Tesla workers filed a similar lawsuit in June.

Musk defended Twitter’s layoffs on Friday, writing that “unfortunately, there is no other choice when the company is losing more than $4 million a day. Everyone who exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legal duty.” A report by The Verge said the layoffs were particularly significant in “trust and product safety, policy, communications, tweet curation, ethical AI, data science, research, learning automatic, social good, accessibility and even some basic engineering teams”.

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