At least 890 Bay Area-based Twitter employees were laid off on Friday

Friday was a dark and anxiety-provoking day for tweeps, as roughly half the workforce was laid off in a Thanos-style snap. And, according to official documents, 784 terminated Twitter employees worked in San Francisco, while another 106 were based in San Jose.

Twitter is in freefall. Ever since Elon Musk walked into the company’s San Francisco headquarters with a sink, Twitter seems to have gone down the drain.

Advertisers left the social media platform in droves; more than a million users left the site after the Musk acquisition; a proposed $8 per month subscription to Twitter Blue for verification status has frustrated countless users. And on Friday, construction frustrations culminated in Musk’s disorderly and likely illegal firing of about 3,700 Twitter employees.

To make matters worse: employees found out if they lost their jobs in a game of Russian roulette via email. A company-wide email from HR informed tweeps that they could expect an email regarding their employment status at 9 a.m. on Friday – the emails being sent to their personal or professional addresses.

If the digital note was sent to their account, it was (more than likely) that they got around the mass layoffs, unaffected. However, if the update email was received in their personal account, that (probably) meant termination.

According to state records obtained by the Chronicle, it appears that the bulk of the fired Twitter employees were based in the Bay Area; the social media company operates six offices across the United States.

The Chronicle notes that Friday’s layoffs on Twitter in San Francisco included 592 employees — who were described as “professionals” — followed by 147 mid-level executives and 25 administrative support workers; nine executives and senior managers were also made redundant.

As for San Jose workers, the layoffs saw 85 professionals, 18 mid-level managers, two support workers and one executive or senior manager leave the company.

Twitter’s firing of regional employees represents one of the largest mass layoffs seen in the Bay Area since the early stages of the pandemic in 2020.

The newspaper writes that Twitter, by law, was required to notify California authorities of layoffs under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act — aka the “WARN Act,” which the company has probably raped.

The company’s fired workers have already begun the process of suing Twitter, filing a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco this week that alleges the company “failed to give at least 60 days notice to government officials”, as required by the WARN law.

Companies that violate the WARN Act face civil penalties of $500/day for each violation until resolutions are agreed to by the affected parties. As Lisa Blooman attorney advocating for victims of discrimination, harassment and abuse wrote in an incredible Twitter thread that if the 3,700 let go tweeps successfully sued the company’s new owner, such fines “could be significant, but maybe not for Elon.”

The layoffs have gutted entire teams of engineers and raised concerns about misinformation plaguing the platform ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections. Musk also told staff to find $1 billion a year in infrastructure cost savings; hosting servers and cloud services will be affected, which Gizmodo reports exposes the social media utility to security risks.

The Chronicle says those layoffs would be effective Jan. 4, and affected workers would also be compensated for all of their wages and benefits up to that date. However, this information does not correspond to the fact that many Twitter employees lost access to their work emails, internal communication channels and other work-related resources Thursday evening.

Earlier Saturday, Jake Dorsey, the company’s former CEO and co-founder, tweeted his own remorse about how this situation turned out.

“I take responsibility for why everyone is in this situation,” Dorsey writes. “I increased the size of the company too quickly. I apologize for that.”

Let this be another example of why every billionaire’s existence is an example of public policy failure.

Related: Twitter Building Closed Until Monday As Employees Receive Pink Slips By Email; Lawsuit brought following a notice of layoff

Twitter layoffs cross many divisions; Musk complains about activists he blames for advertiser exodus

Photo: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff

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