San Francisco-based e-scooter company Skip this week announced pending layoffs for roughly three dozen employees.
That’s according to CEO Sanjay Dastoor, who told the San Francisco Examiner that he notified his staff in The City that they may be laid off in 60 days under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a law mandating notice of layoffs to employees.
Dastoor pinned the layoffs on his company not obtaining a permit to operate e-scooter rentals in San Francisco.
While Skip held a permit in the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Powered Scooter Pilot Program last year, when that pilot program was about to sunset in September, SFMTA announced the winners of the permanent program permits.
Lime, Spin, Jump and Scoot all obtained those permits. Skip did not.
“It’s the vast majority of our San Francisco operations team,” Dastoor told the Examiner. “It’s hard for us to continue to pay our team, to operate the cost side, without the business itself.”
While the California registry of WARN Act notices did not reflect Skip’s layoffs, the latest list only reflects notices up until October 10, and Dastoor said publicly at an October 15 City Hall meeting that he gave notice that day.
At the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting, Tuesday, Dastoor told the board that his company invested in hiring people locally — and directly — instead of using temp-workers through tech-sector staffing agencies that are notorious for ripping off workers like his competitors do.
“Those investments are hurting us disproportionately” now, he said publicly.
He also said he only learned of his company losing out on the permit process through reporters, and the press, instead of SFMTA directly, less than a month before the new wave of e-scooters was set to be released on San Francisco streets.
“Today, I had the unfortunate experience of laying off several dozen of people in San Francisco who worked passionately to work to make the city safer and more accessible,” he said. “We gave our employees 60-days notice, even though San Francisco gave us 21. This is why companies like ours are looking to contractors instead of training and investing.”
Dastoor told the Examiner he appealed SFMTA’s decision. Arbitration through a neutral hearing officer is pending.