Elon Musk and Twitter face City of San Francisco investigation into siege

In an aerial view, a modified corporate sign is displayed outside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, April 10, 2023.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Elon Musk and X Corp. — the Musk-backed parent company of social media platform Twitter — are being investigated over building code violations at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Market Street, according to online public registers with the county building inspection department.

The probe, which was previously reported by the San Francisco Chroniclefollows a lawsuit filed May 16 in a Delaware court by six former Twitter employees, who allege that Musk’s “transition team” knowingly and repeatedly ordered them to break local laws and federal authorities, including making unsafe modifications to company premises.

The lawsuit alleges that under Musk’s direction, X Corp. ordered employees to turn rooms in the San Francisco headquarters into “hotel rooms,” while lying to inspectors and their landlord they were just “temporary rest areas” with added comfy furniture and no substantive or structural changes.

The lawsuit says an employee was told to place locks on unauthorized doors to ‘hotel rooms’ that did not follow a California code that ‘requires locks that automatically disengage when fire extinguishing systems of the building are triggered”.

The former Twitter employee said in the complaint that Musk’s transition team repeatedly told them “the compliant locks were too expensive” and instead asked them to “immediately install cheaper locks that don’t work.” ‘did not comply with life safety and evacuation codes’.

The employee quit rather than break that law, their attorneys noted in the lawsuit.

The complaint also alleges that Twitter, run by Musk, failed to pay severance, back pay and benefits owed to them, and discriminated against some senior employees because of age, gender and sexual orientation when deciding to fire them.

Additionally, the lawsuit said Musk and members of his transition team, namely Boring Company executive Steve Davis, ordered employees involved in property management to cut costs by $500 million. as fast as possible. In an effort to cut costs, Musk’s transition team told employees to simply refuse to pay landlords to whom the company owed rent.

When informed of the risk of termination fees for certain leases, Davis told senior Twitter employees, “Well, we just won’t pay them. We just won’t pay the landlords,” adding, ” we just won’t pay rent.” says the complaint.

Meanwhile, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is actively courting Musk to move Twitter’s headquarters to his jurisdiction. Friday, he wrote on Twitter“Let’s get them to the MIA as soon as possible.”

CNBC reached out to Twitter for more information, and the company responded with an automated response that included a poo emoji but no comment.

A representative from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection said in an emailed statement that the complaint was opened Friday morning and “no further action has yet been taken.”

“We plan to contact building management soon,” the spokesperson wrote. “We do not speculate on potential future enforcement actions.”

Read the lawsuit here.


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