Twitter agrees to negotiate severance pay with the laid-off Africa team, avoids law suit

Eberechukwu Etike
Twitter

Twitter has finally agreed to renegotiate the severance pay and separation arrangements for the employees at the Africa office in Ghana following a CNN report.

This comes after ex-employees of the headquarters accused the platform of breaking Ghanaian laws by withholding additional severance pay and other pertinent benefits that other laid-off Twitter employees will receive from them.

This is in contrast to the assurance given to all Twitter employees worldwide prior to the layoff after Elon Musk’s takeover. However, many of these ex-employees claim there was no such negotiation on severance pay for the Ghana-based employees and accuse Twitter of discriminating against them in comparison to laid-off employees in other regions.

According to CNN, the letter stated,

It is clear that Twitter, Inc. under Mr Elon Musk is either deliberately or recklessly flouting the laws of Ghana, is operating in bad faith and in a manner that seeks to silence and intimidate former employees into accepting any terms unilaterally thrown at them.

The team’s attorney, Carlo Olympio petitioned the Ghanaian government to order Twitter to comply with Ghanaian redundancy laws, to give the workers a fair and just negotiation, and to pay redundancy pay, whilst adhering to the West African nation’s labour laws.

She also claimed that the abrupt termination of nearly the whole team violated Ghanaian employment law because such a move necessitates giving authorities three months’ notice and negotiating over redundancy pay.

Read Also: Fresh headache for Twitter employees as Elon Musk ends remote work in 1st email

Elon Musk terminated the Twitter Africa team

Twitter's Africa Office in Ghana hit by mass layoffs,-Photo Credit: Nairametrics

Due to Musk’s numerous ideas for the microblogging service, there has been one drama after another since he took over as Twitter’s CEO.

In an effort to cut costs and impose a strict new work ethic, the new CEO made one of the wildest choices after ascending to the throne and fired almost 50% of the company’s employees, including several top executives.

Just four days after the African headquarters in Accra inaugurated a physical office, the company disbanded the team as part of the layoff plans. These workers were informed via personal emails, which many of them found to be unprofessional.

This team in particular had some perplexity after the layoff because they were unsure of what would happen next, in contrast to other jurisdictions. However, once CNN’s report about the unfair treatment received widespread attention, the company ultimately agreed to renegotiate with the staff from the Accra office that was laid off.

The employees are currently requesting three months’ worth of their gross salaries as severance pay, the vesting of stock options granted to them under their contracts, repatriation costs for non-Ghanaian employees, and other perks like healthcare continuance that were provided to fired employees everywhere.

Read Also: Twitter sued as mass layoffs begin today

Other lawsuits filed by laid-off employees against Twitter

1-day to court deadline on Twitter deal: Elon Musk visits HQ, addresses self as Chief Twit

The Ghana team is not the first party to file a lawsuit against Twitter and Elon Musk in response to the company’s massive layoffs.

A group of workers have joined forces to launch a lawsuit accusing Twitter of violating regulations pertaining to worker protection, such as the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and the California WARN Act, both of which call for 60-day prior notice.

Following the cancellation of the work-from-home policy and the implementation of a new, stricter standard of efficiency to improve productivity that led to the resignation of many disabled employees, the disabled workers also filed a lawsuit against Twitter, accusing the company of violating both state and federal laws against discrimination.

Elon Musk still seems unconcerned, though, and he is continuing to fire more employees.


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