May 21, 2020
Tesla offers anxious plant workers unpaid leave until May 31
Tesla Inc. will give workers at its U.S. car and battery plants the ability to take unpaid leave through the end of the month if they’re wary of returning to work, according to an internal memo.
The electric-vehicle maker announced the provision along with plans to reinstate its attendance policy starting Friday.
Employees who are concerned they might expose an at-risk member of their household can sign and submit a document to take leave until May 31, Valerie Capers Workman, Tesla’s head of North American human resources, wrote in the memo viewed by Bloomberg News.
Workers who Tesla or a doctor have told to quarantine, or have Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive for the coronavirus are not subject to the attendance policy, Capers Workman said.
Her memo applied to workers at the company’s auto plant in Fremont, California, and its battery factory near Reno, Nevada.
Tesla restarted production at the Fremont facility last week in defiance of a county shutdown order.
Days after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted that the company would breach local rules and that he was willing to risk arrest, Tesla told employees the county’s health official had approved its safety plans and procedures.
On Wednesday, Tesla abandoned the lawsuit the company filed 11 days earlier against the county over its health order.