“Significant Overpayment”: Elon Musk’s X Wants Sacked Staff to Return Money

Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, has asked its sacked employees in Australia to return money it claims was accidentally overpaid to them due to a currency conversion error from US to Australian dollars. This mistake resulted in overpayments ranging from $1,500 to $70,000, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

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The Error and Its Consequences

X acknowledged the currency conversion error that occurred when the entitlements were paid out to the employees after they were fired. This error led to significant overpayments, with some former employees receiving up to $70,000 more than they were supposed to. At least six former X staff have received legal notices regarding the repayment.

In an email cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, X’s Asia Pacific human resources department stated, “It has come to our attention that you received a significant overpayment in error in January 2023. We would be grateful if you could arrange the repayment to us at your earliest convenience.”

The company explained that the overpayment was linked to “deferred cash compensation” in the form of employee shares issued when the staff joined Twitter.

Legal and Ethical Implications

X’s demand for repayment has sparked controversy, particularly given the company’s ongoing legal battles. X has been accused in multiple lawsuits of various labor and workplace violations, including failing to pay severance to thousands of workers fired following Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in 2022.

Last year, thousands of former Twitter employees alleged that they were cheated out of severance pay when Musk laid them off after taking over the social media platform. This latest development adds to the complex web of legal and ethical issues surrounding the company’s treatment of its former employees.

Employee Reactions and Potential Outcomes

The affected former employees, already embroiled in disputes over severance pay, now face the additional burden of repaying significant sums of money. The situation raises questions about the company’s internal controls and the fairness of demanding repayment from individuals who may already be facing financial difficulties due to their sudden job loss.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how X will handle the repayment process and whether any legal challenges will arise from the affected employees. The demand for repayment adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing scrutiny of Musk’s management of X and its labor practices.


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