Home ABOVE THE LAW Free Speech Absolutist Elon Musk Reminds Individuals He Laid Off That If They Disparage Him He Might Sue Them

Free Speech Absolutist Elon Musk Reminds Individuals He Laid Off That If They Disparage Him He Might Sue Them

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Elon Musk has repeatedly referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist” and promised that on his Twitter even his “worst critics” can be welcome.

Elon tweet: I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means

After all, as we famous from early on, Elon really has a horrible monitor report concerning punishing his personal staff for his or her speech. That features utilizing ridiculously broad NDAs to silence them

Now, Platformer’s Zoe Schiffer is reporting that Twitter has despatched laid off staff “a legal notice warning them about a non-disparagement clause” of their separation agreements. And, the letter claims (ridiculously, and incorrectly) that the non-disparagement clause “applies to you whether or not you signed the settlement or not.”

The textual content of the non-disparagement clause is tousled as nicely:

As well as, in keeping with relevant legal guidelines, the No Disparagement provision in Paragraph 7(c) prohibits you from making any written or verbal communications concerning the Firm, any Releasee, the Firm’s management workforce and administration, Board of Administrators, or services or products which can be defamatory or disloyal, reckless, or maliciously unfaithful underneath relevant regulation together with Nationwide Labor Relations Act requirements.

I imply, the inclusion of the NLRA requirements is simply the cherry on high of this shit sundae, as a result of the NLBR actually simply weeks in the past declared that employers could not provide severance agreements with non-disparagement phrases.

Immediately, the Board issued a call in McLaren Macomb, returning to longstanding precedent holding that employers could not provide staff severance agreements that require staff to broadly waive their rights underneath the Nationwide Labor Relations Act. The choice concerned severance agreements supplied to furloughed staff that prohibited them from making statements that might disparage the employer and from disclosing the phrases of the settlement itself.  

The choice reverses the earlier Board’s choices in Baylor College Medical Heart and IGT d/b/a Worldwide Recreation Expertise, issued in 2020,  which deserted prior precedent find that providing related severance agreements to staff was not illegal, by itself.  

Immediately’s determination, in distinction, explains that merely providing staff a severance settlement that requires them to broadly hand over their rights underneath Part 7 of the Act violates Part 8(a)(1) of the Act. The Board noticed that the employer’s provide is itself an try to discourage staff from exercising their statutory rights, at a time when staff could really feel they need to hand over their rights with the intention to get the advantages supplied within the settlement.   

In some methods, this creates a type of amusing state of affairs: by having Twitter declare that the coverage is underneath NLRA requirements, and the NLRB saying that these clauses usually are not allowed… it may very well be learn to imply that Twitter is admitting all the clause is null and void.

However, in fact, that’s probably not what’s happening right here. Twitter and Musk are possible counting on the intimidation issue and the belief that most people he unceremoniously fired received’t be acquainted with the latest NLRB ruling on this matter.

In the meantime, let’s be clear: even with out the NLRB ruling, the non-disparagement clause right here is whole bullshit. Issues which can be defamatory are already actionable underneath defamation regulation. “Maliciously unfaithful” looks like a bizarre misunderstanding of the particular malice commonplace, however remains to be lined by defamation regulation.

However “disloyal” and “reckless” are completely arbitrary nonsense, and never one thing you possibly can police.

And the concept this is applicable even to individuals who didn’t signal it’s not how something works in any respect.

It does, nevertheless, counsel (YET AGAIN) that fairly than being supportive of free speech, Musk is one more wealthy and highly effective individual with a fragile ego who can’t take even the slightest little bit of criticism, and feels the necessity to intimidate folks into silence.

Free Speech Absolutist Elon Musk Reminds Individuals He Laid Off That If They Disparage Him He Might Sue Them

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