Leaked Tesla memo reveals what the company is doing about worker safety as coronavirus spreads

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Leaked Tesla memo reveals what the company is doing about worker safety as coronavirus spreads

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  • In an internal Tesla memo, the company outlined the safety measures it is taking to address coronavirus. These include travel restrictions and extra cleaning practices at its facilities.
  • The memo, which was viewed by Business Insider, also states that hourly employees who quarantine will be paid for 12 hours of regularly scheduled work per day they're under quarantine.
  • Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus has hit the US and companies across the country are trying to figure out how to deal with the disease. Tesla, the electric car and renewable energy company helmed by Elon Musk is no different. It employs around 40,000 people around the country.

Tesla has two big factories in the US, one in Fremont, California and another outside Reno, Nevada. Nevada has only reported 4 cases of coronavirus so far. Fremont, however, isn't far from San Jose - where 3 San Jose Airport TSA agents contracted the virus - and San Francisco, where at least 14 people have contracted coronavirus.

Tesla also recently opened a factory in Shanghai which was closed for weeks when the Chinese government ordered the entire country shut down.

Tesla shared a memo updating employees with general facts about the disease and outlining its policy. Employees who traveled to impacted areas like Italy, China, South Korea, Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Travel to those areas has been suspended. The company is also asking employees to try to limit work travel by doing conference calls, and to get all necessary travel approved by a supervisor.

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Anyone who feels sick or has been in contact who might have the virus has been instructed to inform their manager, go home, call a doctor, and email Tesla security to let them know what is going on.

"Our onsight clinics are not equipped to handle COVID-19," said the memo. For more information employees were told to contact Laurie Shelby and Valerie Workman in Tesla's HR department.

Back in January a bunch of Tesla employees came back from China, and so there is a section in the memo explaining that those employees were subject to a two-week quarantine when they got back to the US. The memo also explains that it's highly unlikely that any Tesla employee would catch the virus from supplies coming from China as it does not tend to linger on non-living surfaces.

This memo also addresses what will happen if employees take leave. If they can work remotely with managerial approval they'll be paid regularly. If they can't and they are salaried employees they can ask their supervisors for "Flexible Time Off." Hourly employees who can't work from home will be paid their base pay for 12 hours for every regularly scheduled workday they're in quarantine.

"You will only be paid for non-working self quarantine if that self quarantine was not imposed as a result of you travelling for personal reasons after the travel restrictions for respective regions were put in place by Tesla," the memo says. "You should also check in with you HR partner and manager for more information that may be specific to your work location."

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The company also said that it has upped cleaning and placed Purell around its facilities.

If you work for Tesla and have thoughts about how the company is handling the outbreak, or anything else, shoot me an email at llopez@businessinsider.com

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