A laid-off Twitter engineer told CNN that they’d faced a “wave of rejections” for job applications.
This person is among those seeking recourse since being laid off after Elon Musk’s takeover.
Twitter is facing complaints over the size of severance packages for people let go recently.
Former Twitter employees have been struggling to land work in a “hot garbage” job market since Elon Musk pushed them out, Justine De Caires, a former Twitter engineer, said.
“The market is hot garbage right now,” De Caires told CNN. They’re one of the hundreds of former Twitter employees who have sought legal recourse over severance packages offered to laid-off staff members.
De Caires told CNN that the grim market for tech jobs was making them contemplate dramatically different career options.
“I was sitting down earlier this week after a wave of rejections, and I was kind of like, ‘Maybe I should go be a firefighter or something’ … because the tech jobs are just not happening,” they said.
De Caires was among a group of named plaintiffs who sued Twitter last year. The group told a California federal court that the severance packages offered under Musk’s leadership weren’t as good as what the company had previously offered.
De Caires and the other employees suing Twitter said they’d counted on assurances by Twitter’s prior leadership that the company’s severance policy would stay the same after Musk took over, according to an amended complaint they filed in December.
Twitter’s severance packages before Musk took over included two months of pay or more, along with other benefits, while under Musk, laid-off employees have been offered one month of severance pay, their complaint said.
“Twitter employees had been promised that, should layoffs occur after the sale of the company, they would be entitled to the same benefits and severance that employees had previously received,” they said in the complaint. “However, following Musk’s purchase of the company, Twitter reneged on this agreement.”
Twitter’s press address and Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX addresses did not respond to requests for comment Monday morning.
De Caires and other employees also said any pay they received in the period between when they were informed of the layoff and their official last day at the company did not count as severance pay. De Caires, who’d worked for Twitter in San Francisco, was notified of their layoff on November 4 but separated from the company on January 4, according to a court filing.
De Caires’ case has since been moved to arbitration, as they are among Twitter’s former employees who signed arbitration agreements when working for Twitter, according to the California federal court’s order in January.
Their attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan told Insider that she’s representing more than 1,500 laid-off Twitter employees in multiple arbitration cases.
“It would be far less expensive for Twitter to just pay employees what they are owed than to defend against all of these cases,” Liss-Riordan said. “We hope Elon realizes this soon, but if not, we look forward to taking him on in the courtroom, as well as in arbitration.”
Nearly 124,000 tech employees have been laid off this year from more than 450 firms, according to Layoffs.FYI, a website that records layoffs in the industry. Big Tech companies like Microsoft, Meta, Google, and Amazon have all signaled large-scale layoffs.
Some companies, like Uber, are also implementing tougher performance reviews, though the ride-hailing company previously told Insider that it planned to backfill the roles of employees it cut in the process.
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