Featured image: Sean O’Kane / The Verge
In connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, Tesla was forced to cease operations in its factories in the United States. Even after manufacturers in California were allowed to gradually resume operations, Alameda County, where one of the company's factories is located, did not allow the automaker to return to work.
This led to increased tension for both Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the Alameda County, as well as for people who could not return to work. Fortunately, at the moment the situation has become more peaceful, which allowed the automaker to return to normal operation.
Alameda County has officially approved Tesla’s plan to reopen its Fremont factory under the state’s guidelines for safe operations amid the pandemic and the automaker has officially dropped its lawsuit.
In an email received by CNBC yesterday, Tesla told employees that they are now officially allowed to return to work. The company said that Bay Area health officials eased shelter-in-place restrictions as a result of sustained progress in the containment of Covid-19. Therefore, the Bay Area guidelines permit manufacturers to resume normal operations, and ease restrictions for retail, warehousing and other industries assuming all required safety precautions can be followed.
This order, combined with County’s prior approval of Tesla's Return to Work health and safety protocols, and improved health and safety data, means California is back to work.
In this situation, Tesla slightly changed its Attendance Policy for Fremont Factory, as well as Gigafactory Nevada.
- 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.
- If an employee has symptoms or a positive test for Covid-19, then he does not fall under the Attendance Policy and must stay at home.
- Premium pay will continue through May 31 for those who are eligible in appreciation for their work during this challenging time.
- Tesla, in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease in its factories, will conduct additional inspections and audits to ensure compliance with these rules.
- Anyone who can continue to work from home should do so and continue to report to their managers.
Date: May 20, 2020
Subj. HR Update: May 20, 2020: Fremont Factory & Gigafactory Nevada
On Monday, May 18, Bay Area health officials eased shelter-in-place restrictions as a result of sustained progress in the containment of Covid-19. Specifically, they cited favorable health data showing a trend in stabilizing or declining new Covid [sic] cases and hospitalizations, as well as an increase in testing. This is great news for the health of our community, and it’s exciting to begin the path to reopening some areas of the country.
Bay Area guidelines permit manufacturers to resume normal operations, and ease restrictions for retail, warehousing and other industries assuming all required safety precautions can be followed. This order, combined with the County’s prior approval of our Return to Work health and safety protocols, and improving health and safety data means California is getting back to work.
Specifically, this means a few important updates for Fremont Factory as well as Gigafactory Nevada:
1. We’ll be reinstating our Attendance Policy this Friday, May 22 with a new provision:
*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.
*If you are under Tesla-or doctor- directed quarantine, are sick with Covid [sic] symptoms, or have tested positive for Covid [sic], you are not subject to the Attendance Policy and should continue to stay home. Please notify your manager and a Benefits team member will contact you to discuss Covid-19 Paid Leave of Covid-19 Exposure Paid Leave.
2. Premium pay will continue through May 31 for those who are eligible in appreciation for your work during this challenging time.
3. All health and safety precautions must continue to be followed, and we will be implementing additional checks and audits to ensure these policies are being followed.
This email only applies to our production workforce and production-related office workers at our Fremont operations in Alameda County and Gigafactory Nevada. Those who can continue to work from home, should do so. In some areas of the country, additional restrictions continue and therefore please only report to work if your manager, HR partners or another Tesla representative has called you back to work.
Thank you all for your continued diligence in helping to keep our Tesla team safe and healthy. Please continue to reach out to [Ed: e-mail redacted] with your HR-related questions.
Thank You Team!
Valerie Capers Workman | North America HR+ EMEA & AU/NZ/JP/KR
Featured image: Sean O’Kane / The VergeFollow @EvaFoxU
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.