June 20, 2024

Spotify to lay off 17 percent of its workforce in latest round of job cuts

If artists and Spotify can’t make money off of streaming, maybe it’s time to rethink the whole streaming thing

Spotify to lay off 17 percent of its workforce in latest round of job cuts

Spotify is laying off 17 percent of its employees in an attempt to cut costs, its CEO Daniel Ek announced. The cuts are expected to impact over 1,500 people.

Spotify is laying off 17 percent of its employees in an attempt to cut costs, its CEO Daniel Ek announced to staff today. Based on its total headcount of 9,241 revealed during its last earnings release, the cuts are expected to impact over 1,500 people.

In a memo sent to staff, Ek said slowing economic growth and rising costs were to blame for the cuts, which he said would make Spotify a leaner company. “Today, we still have too many people dedicated to supporting work and even doing work around the work rather than contributing to opportunities with real impact,” Ek wrote. “As we’ve grown, we’ve moved too far away from this core principle of resourcefulness,” he later added.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve moved too far away from this core principle of resourcefulness”

This is Spotify’s third major round of layoffs conducted this year. In January the company announced it would be laying off 6 percent of staff, or roughly 600 employees. Then, in June, it announced it would be cutting a further 200 roles from its podcast division. As well as cutting costs, Spotify has also made moves to increase revenue, raising prices of several of its plans across multiple markets, including the US, over the summer. 

These layoffs have come after Spotify’s headcount increased significantly during the pandemic, with its headcount nearly doubling in the past three years, The Wall Street Journal notes. In his memo, Ek defended his decision to grow the team throughout that period, but said that “we now find ourselves in a very different environment.” 

Employees impacted by Spotify’s latest layoffs will receive around five months of severance pay according to Ek’s memo, during which time the company will continue to cover their healthcare. 

Spotify has generally prioritized growth over quarterly profits throughout its history, but the WSJ notes that investors have been increasingly pushing for profitability over the past year. Ek said at an investor day last year that he intends for Spotify to be profitable by 2024. Although the company posted a quarterly profit in its last earnings release, the WSJ notes that it reported losses of €462 million (around $502 million) in the first nine months of this year.

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Biden’s DOJ Fines Tennessee Christian Trucking Company $700,000 for Requiring Workers to Disclose Legal Status

Biden’s Department of Justice has slapped a whopping $700,000 fine on Covenant Transport Inc. and the affiliated Transport Management Services LLC, both stellar examples of Tennessee’s robust transportation sector.

The recent decision by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to impose a $700,000 fine on Covenant Transport Inc., a Christian trucking company based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, raises significant concerns about the overreach of federal power and the disregard for the realities faced by businesses in regulating their workforce.

The DOJ, under Joe Biden’s regime, claims this measure is to resolve alleged violations of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by Covenant and its affiliated entity, Transport Management Services LLC.

The department accuses Covenant of discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers by requiring specific documentation to confirm their legal status to work in the United States.

From the DOJ’s press release:

The Justice Department announced today that it has secured a $700,000 agreement with Covenant Transport Inc. (Covenant), as well as the affiliated entity Transport Management Services LLC (Transport), two transportation logistics and long-haul trucking companies headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The agreement resolves the department’s determination that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by routinely discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers when checking their permission to work in the United States.

“Employers cannot discriminate against non-U.S. citizens by demanding specific or unnecessary documents from them to prove their permission to work,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to ensuring compliance with our federal civil rights laws so that non-U.S. citizens with permission to work can contribute their talents to our workforce.”

The department’s investigation found that from January 2020 through at least August 2022, Covenant and Transport routinely discriminated against non-U.S. citizens by requiring lawful permanent residents to show their Permanent Resident Cards (known as green cards) and by requiring other non-U.S. citizens to show documents related to their immigration status.

Federal law allows all workers to choose which valid, legally acceptable documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and permission to work, regardless of citizenship status, immigration status or national origin. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requiring specific or unnecessary documents because of a worker’s citizenship status, immigration status or national origin. Indeed, many non-U.S. citizens, including lawful permanent residents, are eligible for several of the same types of documents to prove their permission to work as U.S. citizens are (for example, a state ID or driver’s license and an unrestricted Social Security card). Employers must allow workers to present whatever acceptable documentation the workers choose and cannot reject valid documentation that reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the worker.

Under the terms of the agreement, Covenant and Transport will pay $700,000 in civil penalties to the United States, train their employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements, revise their employment policies and be subject to monitoring by the department.

However, this overlooks the legitimate concerns and responsibilities of businesses to ensure their employees are legally permitted to work.

Generally, illegal immigrants are not eligible for work permits. However, there may be exceptions for certain groups, such as “refugees” or those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“Asylum seekers” may be eligible for work permits after they have filed their application and received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

According to Gittes Law Group, “Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), it is illegal for employers to knowingly employ undocumented workers. When employees are hired, their employer is required to ask for documents. The documents must show their identity and authorization to work in the U.S. Those documents must “reasonably appear to be genuine.”

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