"The Department of Commerce can state that it does not intend to implement or enforce Executive Order 13942 in a manner which would prohibit the payment of wages and/or salaries to Plaintiff or any other employee or contractor of TikTok ... the provision of benefits packages to Plaintiff or any other employee of TikTok", the document filed on Monday said.
In addition, the government said that it did not intend to implement the order in a way that would impute a civil or criminal liability to any TikTok employee for performing otherwise lawful actions as part of their regular job duties and responsibilities.
"The Department of Commerce cannot, however, offer assurances about the ways in which the corporate entities of ByteDance Ltd. and its subsidiary TikTok may be impacted and the ways in which ByteDance Ltd. and its subsidiary TikTok may elect to restructure or change employee payments, benefits packages, or duties, as a result of Executive Order 13942", the document added.
In late August, a senior employee at TikTok, Patrick Ryan, sued the Trump Administration requesting a temporary restraining order that would block the White House from enforcing the ban, which could leave over 1,000 TikTok workers without wages. On Saturday, the US Justice Department filed a reply arguing that Ryan's request should be rejected, as his claims were based on speculations regarding the order's scope and impact.
Trump signed in August an executive order requiring that US citizens and entities stop transactions with TikTok by mid-September for national security reasons, saying US citizens’ data privacy would be breached by the continued use of the application. The Trump administration's alternative to banning TikTok was that the company be sold to a US entity.