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Tesla Will Allow Factory Workers to Take Unpaid Leave Through May 31

By John Bromels - May 21, 2020 at 1:58PM

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The policy follows the reopening of the company's Fremont factory.

After receiving clearance last week to reopen its factory in Fremont, California, Tesla (TSLA 4.67%) will allow workers who have concerns about the coronavirus to take unpaid leave through the end of the month, according to an internal memo initially reported on by Bloomberg News.

According to the memo, which came from Tesla's North American HR chief, Valerie Capers Workman, the company's attendance policy will be reinstated at its Fremont factory starting this Friday. However, the company recognizes that some employees may still have concerns about potentially contracting the virus and spreading it to at-risk members of their households. Tesla is reportedly allowing such employees to take unpaid leave through May 31 if they submit a signed form documenting their concerns.

A blue Tesla Model S.

Image source: Tesla.

Separate from quarantine

This newly outlined policy is separate from Tesla's existing policies concerning employees who themselves are at risk or under quarantine. If an employee has been directed to self-quarantine by a doctor or by the company, tests positive for the virus, or is exhibiting symptoms of the illness, the attendance policy does not apply, the memo reportedly said. 

Tesla restarted production at its Fremont plant on May 11, in defiance of Alameda County orders. CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he was risking arrest by doing so. On May 9, the company had filed suit against the county in federal court, claiming its 14th Amendment rights were being violated by the shutdown order. By the evening of May 12, county officials announced they had reached a deal with Tesla to allow it to open the following week. 

On Wednesday, the company dropped its lawsuit against the county. 

John Bromels owns shares of Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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