Elon Musk fires disabled employee
A disabled member of staff at Twitter was mortified after he found himself locked out of his PC on Sunday, 26 February, when he tried to log in for work.
Haraldur Thorleifsson was close to trending on his own platform when he was one of 200 workers who found themselves being laid off by their boss, Elon Musk.
After nine days of no explanation Thorleifsson, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, took matters into his own hands and publicly tweeted Musk asking if he still had a job.
“Dear @elonmusk. 9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees. However your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You've not answered my emails. Maybe if enough people retweet you'll answer me here? ” Thorleifsson posted on the social media platform on Monday.
The tweet has already been viewed over 34million times, including an interaction with Musk who confronted Thorleifsson asking him about his employment and living with a disability.
Musk called his worker out on Twitter saying “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.”
As the exchange between the two was rolling out in plain sight of millions of Twitter users Thorleifsson received an email confirming he had been sacked.
But yesterday, 7 March, Musk tweeted him with a public apology. The billionaire businessman wrote: “I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation. It was based on things I was told that were untrue or, in some cases, true, but not meaningful.
Musk added: “He [Thorleiffsson] is considering remaining at Twitter.”
Thorleifsson replied: “The reason I asked you in public is because you (or anyone else at Twitter) didn’t reply to my private messages.”
“You had every right to lay me off. But it would have been nice to let me know!”.
He went on to tell Musk his new career change tweeting: “I’m opening a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik very soon. It’s named after my mom.”
It’s a safe bet the restaurant will have its own social media handles…On Instagram and Facebook!
[ Haraldur Thorleiffson, from Iceland, joined Twitter in 2021, when the company, under the prior management, acquired his startup Ueno. ]