Tesla staff say they were fired for staying off amid coronavirus

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Tesla staff say they were fired for staying off amid coronavirus

Three Tesla workers claim that they have been fired after choosing to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic instead of coming to work at the Fr

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Three Tesla workers claim that they have been fired after choosing to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic instead of coming to work at the Fremont, California, plant.

Elon Musk’s company reneged on a policy where they allowed employees the opportunity to stay home out of risk of potentially exposing a loved one to coronavirus. 

When the company reopened in May in defiance of county orders, Musk told orders that if ‘you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so,’ the Washington Post reports. 

After county officials allowed the company to restart production, Tesla sent a new directive to employees. 

Elon Musk announced in May that workers could stay at home and then later reneged on that policy

Elon Musk announced in May that workers could stay at home and then later reneged on that policy

‘We’ll be reinstating our Attendance Policy this Friday, May 22,’ an email on May 20 read. 

‘If an employee does not want to come to work out of concern that they might expose an at-risk member of their household, HR will provide the employee with a document the employee can sign and submit to confirm their situation and receive Unpaid Leave until May 31.’  

The three workers believed that they could continue to stay at home and remain unpaid, following HR guidance and notifying their supervisors throughout June. 

Managers were understanding, the workers said, acknowledging that they had legitimate reasons to be concerned. 

But by the end of June, all three were told they had abandoned their jobs and were fired.  

The three workers believed that they could continue to stay at home and work unpaid, following HR guidance and notifying their supervisors throughout June

The three workers believed that they could continue to stay at home and work unpaid, following HR guidance and notifying their supervisors throughout June

‘The company, Elon included, they don’t really care about the health and well-being of the employees,’ said Nayo Miller, a 39-year-old from Richmond, California. Miller was given a termination notice on June 26 that alleged he had abandoned his job. 

He added: ‘The manufacturing of the vehicles supersedes our safety.’ 

Two employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to conditions of their employment, said that they feel abandoned by Musk and the company.  

‘His word doesn’t mean anything to his employees,’ said one worker at Tesla’s seat assembly facility. The worker shared he had been in constant communication with a manager, prior to receiving his termination notice on June 26. 

It was in the seat facility where it was first reported that Tesla had at least two employees who tested positive for the coronavirus. 

One employee, who returned to the plant once it reopened in May but went back home out of concern for his recovering wife, grew worried once seeing how little equipment was being wiped down and how coworkers were piling on top of each other

One employee, who returned to the plant once it reopened in May but went back home out of concern for his recovering wife, grew worried once seeing how little equipment was being wiped down and how coworkers were piling on top of each other

The worker has a one-year-old son who was born with respiratory problems. The wielder was told by his supervisor to apply for Family and Medical Leave Acts, which indicated that there would not be a company exception that would allow him to continue taking unpaid leave. 

He was then fired by Tesla.   

‘I don’t trust them anymore,’ he said.

One employee, who returned to the plant once it reopened in May but went back home out of concern for his recovering wife, grew worried once seeing how little equipment was being wiped down and how coworkers were piling on top of each other. 

More than 5,000 people have died from the coronavirus

More than 5,000 people have died from the coronavirus

‘I mean, it’s dangerous,’ the worker said. ‘There’s 15, 20 people standing right up on each other, front to back at the time clock in a group. When they sit down and eat, everybody’s right up on each other, mask down and everything.’

After a night of breaking out in cold sweats, the worker decided to stay home.  

‘I started feeling uncomfortable — I started feeling like they weren’t really doing anything for us,’ said the worker. He did later test negative for coronavirus.  

While he has not received his termination notice, the wielder did share he was removed from Tesla’s email and attendance system.  

‘It’s not the job that I loved before,’ he said. ‘Everything is completely different. I feel worried for the safety of my friends who still work there.’

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