Laid-off Twitter employees feared meager severance pay. Elon Musk has set the bar even lower

For many, the separation agreement ended up in spam folders, adding to the initial confusion when they were first sent. It also came from twitterseparation@cptgroup.com, an email sender that no one recognized. (CPT Group is an Irvine-based firm that provides class action settlement administrator services.)

A former engineering executive said some other fired Twitter employees were able to confirm with what remained of Twitter’s human resources department that the emails were legitimate.

Many of the employees whose roles were cut, including a designer who was fired in early November, have since remained in a liminal state of “inactive” employment: technically still part of the company and getting paid accordingly, but out of work . or access to internal software. ​​​​​​While Musk’s reason for doing so remains unclear, it is likely an attempt to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a federal law that requires a 60-day notice period when companies make large layoffs.

“Employees (were given) few details about the conditions of the ‘inactive’ workforce,” wrote the outgoing designer, who will officially cease work on February 2. “Twitter never informed people that they may have been engaged in other professional activities during this time period. It speaks to the lack of communication and how that can affect people looking for a new job.”

Twitter employees were concerned about layoff agreements long before layoffs began roiling the tech industry, affecting Lyft, Facebook and other companies. The state of the tech job market has meant a slow job search for many former Twitter employees.

“I would 100% rather be doing an interview right now than talking to lawyers,” said the former engineering manager. “There was always hope … that Twitter would reconsider and be more generous, but it’s clear they haven’t chosen that option.”

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