Musk doesn’t mince words with staffer after layoff: ‘You can’t be fired if you weren’t working in the first place’

Icelandic entrepreneur Haraldur (Halli) Thorleifsson, who was evidently a product designer with Twitter, clashed with CEO Elon Musk over whether he still had a job or not because he was ostensibly frozen out of his work accounts without notification.

Unbeknownst to Thorleifsson, 45, he was laid off with roughly 200 other employees at the end of February. He sold his company in 2021 to join Twitter because he has a worsening degenerative muscle condition. But a disability does not guarantee a job at Twitter if you don’t do the work, according to Musk.

Thorleifsson claimed in a tweet on Monday night that the head of Twitter human resources still had “not been able to confirm if [he] is an employee or not” and that Musk was not answering his emails.

He proceeded to ping the Twitter CEO on the social media platform and a tense exchange followed. Thorleifsson was asked by Musk to explain what he had been working on at Twitter.

The exchange ended with Musk tweeting two laughing emojis and Thorleifsson saying that he had since been told he was laid off. But that wasn’t the end of the Twitter blowup.

“Ok, following long threaded back and forth replies on Twitter is a bit complicated, so let me give you the highlights. After no straight answers on my employment status for 9 days I asked @elonmusk to tell me if I had been laid off. He sort of replied…” the former employee tweeted.

“He asked me what I had been working on. When I told him he laughed. Which, to be fair, I get. I am quite funny. Then all of the sudden, Twitter’s head of HR, (who had previously twice been unable to tell me if I had a job or not) emailed and said I was no longer employed,” he continued.

“Which is totally ok and it happens all the time. Companies let people go, that’s within their rights. They usually tell people about it but that’s seemingly the optional part at Twitter now,” Thorleifsson stated.

“But ok, fair enough, I’ve been laid off and I’m ok with that. Next up though is finding out if Twitter will pay me what they owe me per my contract. Or, will @elonmusk, one of the richest people in the world, try to avoid paying? Stay tuned!!” he added.

Musk later tweeted, “The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm. Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.”

“But was he fired? No, you can’t be fired if you weren’t working in the first place,” Musk said, giving the perfect reply regarding the situation.

Musk ended the exchange by sharing a clip from Office Space, where Bob Slydell asks, “What would you say you do here?”

Thorleifsson then went to the BBC to tell them about losing his job at Twitter.

He told the British media outlet that he suffers from muscular dystrophy and that he was concerned over whether the company would pay him the money he claims he is owed.

“This is my retirement fund, a way to take care of myself and my family as my disease progresses. Having the richest man in the world on the other end of this, potentially refusing to stand by contracts is not easy for me to accept,” he whined.

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