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Tesla’s Beginning to Cut Workers as Part of its Global Layoff

by | April 18, 2024

Shortly after telling Tesla workers the company would be cutting 10% of its workforce, the EV maker’s already swung into action. It filed paperwork showing it would layoff 14% of its employees at its New York plant. It also cut 300 subcontractors from its German operations.

Tesla Buffalo Gigafactory 2 exterior REL

Tesla is laying off 285 workers at two plants in Buffalo, New York. the move is part of a larger reduction.

The company filed a notice it plans to lay off 285 employees at its Buffalo, New York plant as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The law mandates employers provide a 60-day notice before mass layoffs or planned closings. In this case, “mass layoffs” means at least 50 employees.

According to the notice, the layoffs start July 15 and were due to “economic” reasons. The company has more than 2,000 workers in the two sites in Buffalo, which equates to about 14% of the workforce, Reuters reported.

Built to produce solar roof tiles, the plants also build fast-charging equipment at the location. The site also houses staff that labels data for its Autopilot driver-assistance technology. Workers at the site just launched an effort to form a union. Tesla denied that played a role, claiming the workers identified for layoffs were selected before the union push began.

German for layoff

Tesla Buffalo Giga 2 workers REL

Built to produce solar roof tiles, the plants also build fast-charging equipment.

The automaker also released 300 temporary workers in Germany. They were at the end of their contracts, which were not renewed. The move came at the same time as the announcement by Musk to trim the workforce globally and slow production in China.

“These are not layoffs of Tesla workers,” said a company spokesperson in Germany.

“As far as we are aware, our contractual partner has already been able to transfer the majority of these de-registered temporary workers to new employment with other customers,” the spokesperson added in an emailed statement to Reuters.

More Tesla News

What do they get?

In the email Musk sent out to employees Sunday announcing the plan to cut 10% of the company’s more than 120,000 workers, he revealed their severance package information would be coming with 48 hours of their layoff notice.

Tesla Buffalo Giga worker REL

Employees are receiving two months’ severance as well as having the cost of COBRA health insurance paid by Tesla for the same two-month period.

The workers were told in the initial email that they were being eliminated. Since then, media reports suggest employees are receiving two months’ severance as well as having the cost of COBRA health insurance paid by Tesla for the same two-month period.

However, to get the package, employees must sign an agreement saying they will not sue the company or engage in any form of mass arbitration, share Tesla trade secrets or defame the company publicly. They have five days to sign the deal, according to Business Insider.

The agreements reportedly did not include any information regarding equity awards or unused paid time off, or PTO. An email sent to laid-off employees Tuesday said they had “either 30 days or 3 months (or both)” from their termination date to exercise their vested stock options and staff would have their PTO that they’d accrued leading up to their termination date paid out in their final paycheck.

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