Twitter Is Sued by a Former German Employee as European Firings Draw Scrutiny

The entire communications department for Twitter in Germany has reportedly been fired.

Twitter logo displayed on screen with EU code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online, are seen in this illustration, in Brussels, Belgium.
Twitter’s come under fire from European regulators. Photo illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The former head of Twitter’s communications team in Germany is suing the company for unfair dismissal, the latest in a series of challenges to Elon Musk’s restructuring decisions in Europe.

The employee told a court in Hamburg that the entire communications department for Twitter in Germany had been fired, greatly diminishing the company’s ability to publish any external communications in German, according to Bloomberg. German government officials have expressed concern about the lack of regulations on the platform since Musk took over, and Stephan Weil, the governor of the state of Lower Saxony, deleted his account earlier this month.

After Twitter folded its office in Brussels last month, Věra Jourová, a vice-president of the European Commission focused on countering disinformation, said she was “concerned about the news of firing such a vast amount of staff of Twitter in Europe.” Staff members in Brussels were overseeing compliance with the Digital Services Act, a new E.U. law that seeks to moderate content online, including disinformation.

Though Twitter moved swiftly to ax half its workforce in the U.S. after Musk took over, firing employees is more complicated in the Europe and U.K., where workers are generally more protected from termination. Twitter’s U.K. staff has reportedly been talking with law firms about suing the company over their dismissals. On Nov. 25 a court in Ireland temporarily prevented Twitter from firing Sinéad McSweeney, their global vice president for public policy. She said she was informed of an exit package and locked out of Twitter’s systems after she failed to respond to Musk’s email asking employees to commit to an “extremely hardcore” workload to build Twitter 2.0.

Twitter Is Sued by a Former German Employee as European Firings Draw Scrutiny