Tesla, after sacking 9 percent of its workforce, wants to make sure those former employees aren’t saying anything bad about the company’s safety practices, and has tied their severance payments to silence about any ongoing safety issues, a new report suggests.
The Palo Alto electric car maker’s CEO Elon Musk last week said the firm was cutting nearly one in 10 workers — about 3,800 employees — to slash costs and become profitable. The move came as Musk fought back against allegations in Reveal magazine that Tesla failed to include some serious injuries in legally mandated reports, “making the company’s injury numbers look better than they actually are,” according to Reveal. Tesla has denied the allegations.
On Monday, Bloomberg reported that it had obtained “a proposed severance agreement” Tesla gave to one laid-off worker.
The agreement required an employee to make a series of acknowledgements about safety issues, according to Bloomberg.
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The document said the worker “had the opportunity to raise any safety concerns, safety complaints, or whistleblower activities against the company.” And the worker was to agree that if any safety concerns or complaints, or whistleblower activities took place when they were at Tesla, that the issues were addressed to the worker’s satisfaction.
“I do think the agreement will chill valid employee complaints,” Brishen Rogers, a law professor at Temple University, told Bloomberg. “A reasonable worker would just keep their mouth shut, rather than risk losing their severance pay.”
Tesla declined to say how many laid-off employees had received such a letter and how many signed it, Bloomberg reported.
A company spokesman told the business-news outlet that the firm used the language
Source:: The Mercury News – Business