Elon Musk will begin laying off Twitter employees on Friday morning, according to a memo sent to staff, as several Twitter employees file a class action lawsuit alleging the layoffs are in violation of labour law.
The email sent Thursday evening notified employees that they will receive a notice by 12 p.m. ET Friday that informs them of their employment status.
“If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” a copy of the email obtained by CNN said. “If your employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email.”
The email added that “to help ensure the safety” of employees and Twitter’s systems, the company’s offices “will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”
The email concluded acknowledging that it will be “an incredibly challenging experience to go through” for the workforce.
The memo comes after news reports that Musk had planned to lay off up to half of the company’s staff after acquiring it last week for $44 billion.
On Thursday night and into Friday morning, some Twitter employees began posting on the platform that they had already been locked out of their company email accounts ahead of the planned layoff notification. Some also shared blue hearts and salute emojis indicating they were out at the company, as well as #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past-tense play on a hashtag previously often used by Twitter employees.
The class action lawsuit filed Thursday alleges Twitter is in violation of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) after laying off some employees already.
The WARN Act requires that an employer with more than 100 employees must provide 60 days’ advanced written notice prior to a mass layoff “affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.”
“Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made clear that he believes complying with federal labor laws is ‘trivial,'” Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement to CNN. “We have filed this federal complaint to ensure that Twitter be held accountable to our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly signing away their rights.”
Twitter had around 7,500 employees prior to Musk’s takeover.
Musk started his tenure at Twitter by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision.
And in less than a week since Musk acquired the company, its C-suite appears to have almost entirely cleared out, through a mix of firings and resignations. Musk has also dissolved Twitter’s former board of directors.