SF launches Twitter investigation after accusing Elon Musk’s team of breaking laws

San Francisco officials are opening a new investigation targeting Twitter’s corporate headquarters after an explosive lawsuit from former senior employees alleging numerous instances in which members of owner Elon Musk’s team knowingly broke local and federal laws.

The six former employees say that Twitter did not pay the promised service compensation and that Musk’s team instructed employees to disable lights and install locks that would not open during an emergency in employee bedrooms at 1355 Market St.

Six former employees alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Delaware federal court: “Twitter’s new leadership willfully, specifically, and repeatedly stated its intentions to breach contracts, violate laws, and otherwise ignore its legal obligations.”

The suit identifies X Corp. and Musk which succeeded Twitter as defendants. Twitter, which laid off its communications team, automatically responded to an emailed request for comment with an emoji.

“We will open a new complaint and conduct an investigation into these new allegations,” Patrick Hannan, a spokesman for the city’s Building Inspection Department, told The Chronicle.

The plaintiff, Joseph Killian, former director of Twitter’s global design and construction project, described Musk’s team allegedly telling him of violating building codes as part of creating rooms for tired employees to sleep in.

In addition to making the beds, Killian said he was asked to unplug the motion-sensitive lights because they were disturbing people trying to sleep, though the property owner on Twitter denied that request. He said he hired an electrician to do it, allegedly in violation of the building code and Twitter’s lease.

Killian also said he was required to install space heaters, in violation of the lease, and to install door locks that “do not comply with life and exit safety rules” because they would not open automatically in the event of a fire or earthquake.

Doing so would prevent “first responders from accessing rooms” in an emergency, Killian said, but Musk’s team wanted cheaper locks that wouldn’t open automatically.

“Nobody cared,” the lawsuit said. Kylian resigned that day. The lawsuit alleges that the incompatible locks were subsequently installed by someone else.

Killian said he was asked not to detail these planned changes when city inspectors visited the building in December.

“When city inspectors came to inspect the hotel rooms, they expressed surprise and relief to Killian, saying, ‘This is just furniture! We expected more drastic changes,'” according to the lawsuit.

The city previously ruled that Twitter needed to update a building permit to comply and allow for areas where workers sleep. But six months after the bedroom investigation began, the permit had not been approved.

The other five plaintiffs include Wolfram Arnold, a former staff software engineer; Eric Froese, former Senior Director of Software Engineering; Tracy Hawkins, who led Twitter’s real estate division; Laura Chan Petlars, former Global Strategy Lead for Food and Events; and Andrew Schleikger, Senior Machine Learning Architect for Ex-Employees. They could not be immediately reached for comment.

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