The city of San Francisco is currently conducting an investigation into Twitter following claims made by six former employees.
These individuals assert that Elon Musk’s leadership team violated laws by transforming the company’s headquarters into a “Twitter Hotel” and pressuring employees to work late hours in order to revamp the social media platform.
The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection has taken action in response to these allegations by initiating a new complaint and launching an investigation.
The San Francisco Chronicle initially reported on this ongoing investigation, shedding light on the city’s latest scrutiny of the company, which Musk assumed control of in the latter part of the previous year.
The former employees, one of whom served as a vice president of real estate, filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Delaware, accusing Twitter of reneging on their promised severance packages. Twitter, on the other hand, is attempting to have the case dismissed.
In addition to the severance dispute, the ex-workers claim that Musk’s team made a series of alterations to Twitter’s headquarters, located in a 1930s Art Deco building in downtown San Francisco, that violated building codes.
Among these alleged changes were the deactivation of lights and the installation of locks that would not open in the event of an emergency, as outlined in the lawsuit.
These allegations have raised concerns among San Francisco officials, prompting the Department of Building Inspection to intervene. By launching an investigation into the matter, the city aims to determine the veracity of the claims made by the former employees and assess the potential breaches of law committed by Twitter’s leadership under Elon Musk.
The notion of a “Twitter Hotel” implies that the company’s headquarters were essentially transformed into a space where employees were encouraged or coerced to work extensive hours, mimicking the characteristics of a hotel.
Elon Musk’s Leadership Under Scrutiny
This alleged transformation was purportedly driven by Musk’s leadership team, aiming to accelerate the transformation of the social media platform.
Such a work environment may have placed considerable strain on the employees, as they were expected to work late into the night to achieve the desired changes.
The ex-employees’ lawsuit further asserts that Twitter failed to fulfill its commitment to provide severance packages. This legal dispute highlights the disagreement between the company and the former workers regarding the compensation owed to them upon their departure from Twitter.
The specifics of the severance dispute remain undisclosed, but it is evident that the matter has escalated to the point of a federal lawsuit in Delaware.
Tracy Hawkins, a former vice president of real estate and workplace at Twitter, is one of the individuals taking legal action against the company. In her role, she was responsible for managing the company’s physical offices and leases. According to the lawsuit, Hawkins initially did not oppose Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
Nevertheless, she asserts that she was forced to step down from her position when Musk and his transition team insisted that she compromise her professional ethics by deliberately orchestrating Twitter’s violation of its leases and other contractual obligations.
The legal complaint further asserts that Musk declined to fulfill the rent payment obligations for the building.
This is not the first instance where San Francisco officials have clashed with Musk. In October, Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion and proceeded to downsize the workforce while converting a section of the company’s headquarters into sleeping quarters.
Earlier this year, San Francisco building inspectors issued a two-week deadline to Twitter’s construction contractor to rectify a building use permit if the company wished to continue using two conference rooms as bedrooms.
In response to a Forbes report on the beds, the city initiated an investigation in December. It is worth noting that Musk criticized San Francisco Mayor London Breed, although there is no evidence to suggest her involvement in the inspection.
Overall, the investigation into Twitter’s practices and the alleged actions of Elon Musk’s leadership team reflects the city of San Francisco’s commitment to upholding laws and ensuring the well-being of employees.