In an email early Wednesday morning, billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk gave the company’s remaining employees an ultimatum. They can stick around and adhere to a “hardcore” culture of “long hours at high intensity” or leave. Employees have until 5pm ET today to fill out an online form with their decision.
But hours before the deadline, key questions about the terms of the deal went unanswered, with employees’ livelihoods, visas and careers hanging in the balance. Confusion reigned Wednesday as employees searched for answers about how their employment might be affected. How would redundancy offers work? What would happen to employees on leave or holidays? What about people with visas, for whom their ability to stay in the US depends on having a job here? Employees filled out questions about Musk’s ultimatum for leadership, according to a copy of the questions obtained from The Vergo, and he was promised more clarity as the clock continued to tick.
“This is not a phishing attempt,” the FAQ begins
On Wednesday evening, employees finally received an FAQ sheet that answered some of their questions. The document, a copy of which was obtained from The limit, lays out the details of what the company offers to people who want out. Employees can sign up for Twitter’s “exciting journey” or take a few months of pay and benefits and “transition.”
The document begins with an overview section, including ensuring that Musk’s email was real. “This is not a phishing attempt,” the FAQ begins. Surprisingly, the FAQ states that Twitter employment is essentially opt-in: if an employee doesn’t click “yes” on the form to confirm that they want to stay, Twitter “will treat it as a resignation.”
Employees on leave may get an exception. But for everyone else, their choice is final, the document says, and they can’t get an extension to make a decision. If an employee has scheduled parental leave, it will be shortened to align with the separation date, based on local law.
Most U.S. employees who don’t click “yes” will receive two months of paychecks with benefits, plus one month of severance pay if they sign an upcoming separation agreement. (Terms are slightly different for New York City employees.) To receive the additional month of severance pay, employees must agree to and sign a severance agreement, but the terms of that agreement have not yet been shared. The document says the deal will be rolled out “in the coming weeks.” Employees who want to leave but do not accept the terms of separation will lose the additional month.
“He has done nothing to earn our trust”
“I feel like Musk is forcing employees to make this decision on blind faith, but he has done nothing to earn our trust,” says one employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal matters. “If we stay, there’s no guarantee that our jobs will be safe or that our teams will exist if everyone leaves.”
For employees who stick around, the FAQ tells them to expect to do what it takes to perform “at the highest level.” In a “How We Work” section, Twitter says employees will need to be in an office, with exceptions considered on a case-by-case basis. You may be required to work outside of business hours, including weekends.
Chaos has consumed Twitter since Musk took the helm late last month, including sweeping layoffs affecting half of its employees and thousands of contractors. Major advertisers have suspended activity on the platform, citing the disastrous launch of Twitter Blue, the company’s paid subscription service.
Employees have just hours to decide if they want to stay a part of the tumultuous new Twitter — the document says today is the last working day for those who want to leave. By 5pm today, Twitter will have a reduced workforce.
The limit reached out to Twitter for comment. Musk gutted the press office during the initial layoffs.