Elon Musk Tells Twitter Employees They Must Return to Office or 'Resignation Accepted'
In audio acquired exclusively by ABC News, Elon Musk can be heard telling Twitter employees during an all-hands meeting that they must return to the office full-time or "resignation accepted."
"Let me be crystal clear if people do not return to the office when they are able to return to the office - they cannot remain at the company," Musk said in the audio. "End of story."
ABC News obtained the audio through a lawyer representing former Twitter employees who filed a lawsuit against the company. The outlet has verified the authenticity of the audio.
"Even if people returned to the office," a Twitter employee said to Musk, "the offices are separate offices - we won't be in person anyways."
"Yes," Musk responds. "But you can still maximize the amount of in-person activity."
He then continued to compare Twitter to Tesla. "Tesla is not one place either, but you know, it's basically if you can if you can show up at an office and you do not show up at the office, resignation accepted - end of the story," Musk said.
"There are plenty of people at Tesla and SpaceX that do work remotely... but it is on an exception basis for exceptional people - and I totally understand if that doesn't work for some people." He said, "But that's the new philosophy for Twitter."
On Friday, the company revealed that approximately half of Twitter's workers would be laid off in an email that ABC News reviewed.
As part of the lawsuit, Twitter is accused of violating federal and California laws by not giving its employees proper notice before termination; the suit has been amended to include Twitter's alleged unfair severance offer.
During the class-action lawsuit, Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney representing former Twitter employees, said she would use Musk's words against him.
"The audio makes clear that Musk's elimination of remote work, with no notice, is an effort to claim employees have resigned when, in fact, they have been pushed out so that the company can try to avoid obligations under the WARN Act and promises regarding severance," Liss-Riordan told ABC News. "This new ridiculous move is just one of the schemes Musk has come up with in an attempt to avoid paying laid-off employees what they are owed."
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