Elon Musk mocks fired Twitter worker for disability, apologizes later

The exchange between the sacked employee and Musk took place on Twitter.
Ameya Paleja
Elon Musk and Twitter.
Elon Musk and Twitter.

Getty Images 

Twitter CEO Elon Musk publicly accused a Twitter team member of using his disability as an excuse to not do work. The Americans with Disability Act mandates that employers keep the disability status of employees confidential, Bloomberg reported.

The incident is once again a reminder of the chaos inside Twitter after Musk has taken over. While Musk had decided to let go of half the employees In November last year, the layoffs are continuing well into 2023, with employees finding themselves locked out of the company network without any formal communication.

The Twitter Director's conundrum

Haraldur Thorleifsson was one such Twitter employee who got locked out of the network nine days ago and had not heard from Twitter's human resources. He reached out to Elon Musk on Twitter.

Thorleifsson isn't just a regular programmer but became the director when his previous startup Ueno was acquired by Twitter in 2021. He was lauded for staying at Twitter and receiving the compensation for the buyout in a regular salary since he would contribute a higher amount in taxes in Iceland, where he is based, and support its social services.

However, Musk reacted to Thorleifsson's tweet with hostility, asking for details of the work he had been doing at Twitter with pictorial proofs for them. When Thorleifsson provided the details of his role at the company, Musk went on to respond to a tweet from another person, who was not part of the conversation, to say,

Though what Musk did violates the Disabilities Act, Thorleiffson kept his cool and, in a thread, explained the limitation of his genetic condition to Musk. During the Twitter conversation, Thorleifsson also said that he had received communication from the company's HR that he had been fired. He added that while Musk was within his rights to fire him, the world's richest person also needed to pay out what was owed to him, Business Insider said in its report.

Later, Musk backtracked from his original position and said that he conducted a video call with Thorleifsson, which was better than communicating via Twitter, and apologized publicly.

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