Tesla has announced pay cuts and furloughs for some of its employees amid the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the company to shut down some of its factories.
This is according to an email to employees, seen by Electrek, singed by Tesla’s HR chief Valerie Capers Workman. The email explains that all employees who can work from home, or those who are assigned critical roles, will take a pay cut ranging from 10-30 percent. Those employees who cannot work from home, or those who aren’t considered essential, will be put on a leave on absence.
The email also says that there will be “comparable” reductions for non-U.S. employees, which will be communicated locally.
The measures are temporary, and the email says the company expects the furlough to end on May 4. The reductions in pay, however, will be in place “until the end of Q2.”
The email also says that furloughed employees will retain their healthcare benefits, and that for the “vast majority” of furloughed employees, unemployment benefits will be “roughly equivalent” to normal take home pay.
Tesla had a little under 50,000 employees at the end of 2019.
In March, Tesla was ordered to shut down its manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, due to Alameda County’s shelter-in-place order. The order is set to end on May 4, though with the daily number of new COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus) cases in California still being high, the order may be extended. Tesla’s factory in Buffalo, New York, is shut down for vehicle production as well.
Tesla has utilized some of its capacities to help fight the outbreak. In March, the company bought 1,255 ventilators, needed to treat critical COVID-19 patients, from China and delivered them to Los Angeles. The company is also repurposing its Buffalo factory to produce ventilators.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, however, has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak; on one occasion, he said the panic surrounding the virus is more dangerous than the virus itself; on another, he tweeted “the coronavirus panic is dumb.”
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