Elon Musk’s X Faces Labor Complaints Over Layoffs and Retaliation
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a formal complaint against Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, following allegations of mass layoffs and employee retaliation. This marks the first time the NLRB has taken action against employment practices at X.
According to the complaint, the NLRB accuses X of interfering with and coercing employees in the exercise of their labor rights guaranteed under federal laws. The allegations surfaced after the dismissal of Yao Yue, a principal software engineer who was fired after expressing support for colleagues’ concerns over the company’s abrupt shift to in-person work following Musk’s takeover. Yue also attempted to organize a collective response among employees.
Under Musk’s direction, X implemented a new policy that required employees to physically show up to the office. Those who failed to comply faced termination. In November 2022, Yue expressed her relief at being let go from the company, stating, “Never expected I would have stayed this long, and never expected I would be this relieved to be gone.”
The NLRB’s complaint further contends that Musk instructed his team to monitor internal communication channels, such as Slack, to identify employees who should be terminated. Yue alleges that she was selected for layoff in retaliation for her attempts to organize her co-workers against resigning, in order to strengthen their legal position.
In an upcoming court case scheduled for January 2024, the NLRB seeks to obtain compensation for Yue, aiming to rectify any financial harm caused by Musk’s actions and other consequential damages.
This latest development puts Elon Musk’s X under renewed scrutiny for its labor practices. The allegations of mass layoffs and retaliation are significant, highlighting the importance of protecting workers’ rights in the corporate world.
1. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): A U.S. federal agency responsible for enforcing labor laws and protecting the rights of employees and employers.
2. Retaliation: The act of seeking revenge or taking adverse action against someone in response to their actions or statements.
3. Pecuniary Harm: Financial loss or damage suffered by an individual or organization.
Source: CNBC, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)