Elon Musk, the enigmatic tech mogul known for his ventures in electric vehicles, space exploration, and social media, is once again in the spotlight, but this time for a less glamorous reason. Allegations of unpaid bills and severance fees are starting to take a toll on Musk’s latest acquisition, Twitter, now rebranded as “X.”
Musk took over Twitter and quickly implemented layoffs that affected more than half of the company’s workers, or about 6,000 employees, in a move that rocked the social media network to its very foundation. He offered a financial safety net at the time, guaranteeing the impacted individuals at least two months’ pay and an additional week’s pay for each year they had worked at Twitter. Many of these former workers, however, assert that they have not yet received even a single dime of what they were promised.
Due to this circumstance, X is facing a deluge of lawsuits from former employees who want their legal severance pay. To make matters worse, X is now responsible for paying $1,600 in arbitration fees for each two-party dispute due to an arbitration clause in the employee contracts. Surprisingly, X is required to pay for these arbitration costs, but it is refusing to do so, arguing that it wasn’t the one that forced former employees to arbitrate their problems in the first place. As a result, the beleaguered social media giant is now dealing with a staggering 2,200 arbitration cases, carrying a total cost of $3.5 million in required fees. This sum doesn’t even include the actual severance payments owed to the terminated employees. In response to the mounting pressure, ex-staffers have taken legal action once again, demanding that X covers the fees associated with their original arbitration filings.
This controversy is not an isolated incident for Musk’s Twitter acquisition. Since the takeover, X has been embroiled in numerous legal disputes, many of which revolve around allegations of unpaid bills. While some have been resolved or dropped, the company faced no fewer than six non-payment lawsuits in February alone. Additionally, an Australian infrastructure firm sued X for nonpayment of a bill exceeding $600,000 for work done in Twitter’s offices, and several landlords have taken legal action against the company for failing to pay rent on multiple office spaces.
It is unclear how X will handle these legal issues and whether Musk’s record for not paying his debts will follow him on social media in the future. But this story is a clear reminder that even the wealthiest people in the world can run into problems with the law and the money when conducting business.