Fired Twitter engineer says tech job market is ‘hot trash’

  • A fired Twitter engineer told CNN that they faced a “wave of rejections” when it came to job applications.
  • The former Twitter employee is among those seeking recourse after being fired when Elon Musk took over the company.
  • Twitter has faced complaints about the size of the severance packages for those who have been laid off in recent months.

According to former Twitter engineer Justine De Caires, former Twitter employees have been struggling to find work in a “hot garbage” job market ever since Elon Musk squeezed them out.

“The market is hot junk right now,” De Caires told CNN. You are one of hundreds of former Twitter employees who have taken legal action over severance packages offered to laid-off employees.

De Caires told CNN that the bleak market for tech jobs is causing her to dramatically consider other career options.

“I sat down earlier this week after a wave of rejections and thought maybe I should be a firefighter or something… because the tech jobs just aren’t happening,” they said.

De Caires was among a group of named plaintiffs who sued Twitter last year, telling a California federal court that the severance packages offered under Musk’s regime were less than those the company had previously offered.

De Caires and the other employees who are suing Twitter also said they were counting on assurances from Twitter’s former leadership that the company’s severance policy would remain unchanged after Musk’s acquisition, according to an amended lawsuit they filed in submitted in December.

Twitter’s pre-Musk severance package had included two months’ salary or more, among other benefits, while under Musk employees who were laid off were only offered one month’s severance pay, according to their complaint.

“Twitter employees were promised that if they were laid off after the company was sold, they would be entitled to the same benefits and severance pay as the employees had previously received,” the complaint reads. “However, following Musk’s purchase of the company, Twitter revoked that agreement.”

Insider received no response Monday morning to emails sent to Twitter’s press address and to Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX addresses.

De Caires and other workers also argued that any salary received between notification of the dismissal and their actual official last day at the company does not count as severance pay. De Caires, who worked for Twitter in San Francisco, was notified of his layoff on November 4 but was formally separated from the company on January 4, according to a court filing.

De Caires’ claims have since been submitted to arbitration because they are among former Twitter employees who signed arbitration agreements while working for Twitter, according to the California federal court’s January ruling.

De Caires’ attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, told Insider that she is now representing a total of more than 1,500 fired Twitter employees in individual arbitrations.

“It would be far cheaper for Twitter to just pay employees what they are owed than to defend against all these cases,” Liss-Riordan said. “We hope Elon realizes this soon, but if not, we look forward to taking on him both in the courtroom and in arbitration.”

According to, a website that tracks layoffs in the industry, nearly 124,000 employees from more than 450 tech companies have been laid off this year. Big tech companies like Microsoft, Meta, Google, and Amazon have all signaled large-scale layoffs.

Some companies, like Uber, are also using tougher performance reviews to oust employees, although the ride-sharing company previously told Insiders it plans to fill the roles of employees it’s eliminating in the process.

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