US to probe Twitter for breaking laws following lawsuit from ex-employees

They are seeking severance and punitive damages for "flagrant bad faith".

San Francisco: The city officials here are opening an investigation into Twitter following a lawsuit from former employees who claimed that Elon Musk’s transition team deliberately planned to breach contracts and not pay promised severance, among other things.

The lawsuit from six employees alleged that Musk’s team “knowingly broke local and federal laws,” reports San Francisco Chronicle.

They are seeking severance and punitive damages for “flagrant bad faith”.

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“Twitter’s new leadership deliberately, specifically, and repeatedly announced their intentions to breach contracts, violate laws, and otherwise ignore their legal obligations,” the six former employees alleged in a lawsuit filed in the Delaware federal court in the US.

The former employees alleged that Musk’s team instructed staff to disable lights and “install locks that wouldn’t open during an emergency at employee bedrooms at 1355 Market St., violating building codes”.

Patrick Hannan, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Building Inspection, was quoted as saying that they will be opening a new complaint and conducting an investigation into these new allegations.

Plaintiff Joseph Killian, former Twitter lead project manager of global design and construction, said he was told to disconnect motion-sensitive lights because they were “bothering people trying to sleep, despite Twitter’s landlord rejecting that request”.

Killian was also told to install space heaters, violating the lease, and install door locks that “were not compliant with life safety and egress codes”.

The lawsuit alleges that Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro “loudly opined that it was unreasonable for Twitter’s landlords to expect Twitter to pay rent, since San Francisco was a s***hole”.

Twitter’s landlord in San Francisco had sued the micro-blogging platform over not paying rent.

Reports had surfaced earlier this year that Musk converted rooms at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco into small bedrooms, featuring unmade mattresses, drab curtains and giant work monitors.

The beds were prepared for remaining “hardcore” staffers to be able to stay overnight at the office.

There were reports of Twitter employees sleeping on the floor at the office after Musk took over the company.

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