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Elon Musk's X chases sacked Australian employees to return money as it 'overpaid' them

Reportedly, the company acknowledged that the 'overpayment' was due to 'deferred cash compensations' in the form of employee shares given to the staff at the time of joining (Twitter).
Last Updated : 15 June 2024, 12:27 IST

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Elon Musk’s social media platform X is asking its former Australian employees to return their entitlements as the company claimed it had overpaid them.

X citing a 'conversion error' asked its employees who were sacked almost 18 months ago to repay the amount ranging up to $70,000. According to a The Sydney Morning Herald report, some employees have also received legal notices.

The TSMH report had access to an official mail from X’s Asia Pacific human resources department, which said, "It has come to our attention that you received a significant overpayment in error in January 2023."

"We would be grateful if you could arrange the repayment to us [using the account details below] at your earliest convenience," it added.

Reportedly, the company acknowledged that the 'overpayment' was due to 'deferred cash compensations' in the form of employee shares given to the staff at the time of joining (Twitter).

These shares were valued at $54.20 ($82) each, which was the price at which Musk purchased Twitter in 2022. The quantity of shares received by an employee depended on their tenure with the company.

Not only the entitlements, but the company aslo asked former employees to retun the laptops which X gave them. Reportedly, in some cases, employees told that they tried to reach X to return the devices but failed as it responds with an automatic message "Busy now, please check later."

Victoria Moffat, the associate director for corporate matters at boutique legal firm Burch&Co qouted that it was unlikely Australia’s laws would limit X’s ability to chase up the payments. She added that the employee share scheme of such type were not regulated by Australia's Fair Work Act.

“I couldn’t speak specifically to this particular plan, also given it was a US plan, rather than an Australian one,” she said.

Musk who is also chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, has been in a conflict with Australia’s eSafety commissioner and the Albanese government this year for refusing to remove a video of the Wakeley church stabbing.

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Published 15 June 2024, 12:27 IST

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