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X (formerly Twitter) is demanding $1500-$70,000 from laid-off workers - they say they were overpaid

X (formerly Twitter) is demanding $1500-$70,000 from laid-off workers - they say they were overpaid
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X Corp. Elon Musk (formerly Twitter) is demanding money from at least six Australians who were previously laid off. The company claims that it accidentally overpaid them. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that X is threatening to sue some former Australian employees after incorrectly converting currency from US dollars to Australian dollars.

In emails sent by the X Asia-Pacific HR department to terminated employees, it was noted that a significant amount was mistakenly overpaid in January 2023. Overpayments ranged from $1500 to $70,000 per employee. None of the former employees have returned the money yet. Currently, one Australian dollar is worth $0.67.

The company stated that the overpayment was related to "deferred cash compensation" in the form of shares issued to employees when they joined Twitter. These shares were valued at $54.20 (82 Australian dollars) each. The total number of shares for an employee was based on their tenure with the company. It is reported that X made errors in currency conversion. The company made payments at a price that exceeded the value of the shares by 2.5 times.

X has asked terminated employees to return the money as soon as possible and stated that the company reserves the right to demand repayment and interest in court, according to the report.

Employment law expert Hayden Stevens says that employees can be forced to return the money, but they have the right to ask X for a clear explanation of how the error occurred and demand documentary evidence. According to Australian labor law, if a genuine mistake has occurred, there is an obligation to return the money.

The overpayment to terminated employees stands in contrast to what happened with many former X employees in the USA. The company faced lawsuits and arbitrations from about 2000 former employees who were fighting for severance pay. According to court documents, negotiations for settlements in several cases ended without an agreement.

X also faced a lawsuit from four former Twitter executives who claim they were deceived out of more than $128 million in severance pay when Musk fired them immediately after acquiring the company. The lawsuit was filed by former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, former CFO Ned Segal, former Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, and former General Counsel Sean Edgett. The plaintiffs proposed a trial date in November 2025. Musk also refused to pay many Twitter suppliers after taking office, leading to a flurry of lawsuits seeking compensation.

Source: Ars Technica

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