Tesla won’t tolerate any dissent against Elon Musk, fired two employees

Tesla won’t tolerate any dissent against Elon Musk as it fired two employees over what it considered an “attack,” according to NLRB complaints.

Earlier this year, SpaceX fired several employees who were drafting an internal letter to let the company’s leadership know that Musk’s behavior is “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.”

The fired employees are fighting back in a labor complaint.

Now Tesla is finding itself in a similar situation according to new complaints filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

Bloomberg reports on the complaints:

Tesla Inc. allegedly fired two California-based employees in violation of labor laws for being part of a wider group that was discussing and drafting letters critical of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, according to their attorneys and complaints they filed with federal regulators. 

One of the letters criticized Tesla’s return-to-work policy.

In June, Musk announced that all Tesla employees need to stop remote work and come back to the office for 40+ hours per week or they would be let go.

Tesla wasn’t even prepared for all the employees to come back to the office, and many weren’t even living near any offices at that time. Tesla ended up softening Musk’s request and made room for exceptions.

The other letter was closer to what the SpaceX employees were working on this summer prior to being fired.

It protested Musk’s tweets and claimed that they violated Tesla’s anti-harassment policy. Tesla said that it was an “attack” on the company.

One of the employees fired over the “attack” had just received a raise a month before being let go.

Electrek’s Take

It looks like Tesla won’t tolerate any dissent against the great leader.

Top comment by Jack Hodges

Liked by 54 people

Top notch engineers and scientists will take a lot of grief/discomfort as long as they believe in the work they are doing and the company. Everyone has a threshold, though, and if they leave a company or get laid off/fired it gets around really quickly. Tesla and SpaceX can be intolerant of criticism but they had better be fair about it or suffer an exodus.

View all comments

Look, if you are drafting a letter complaining about your boss, you need to consider the risk. That comes with it. However, in this case, I understand the frustration and the feeling that you need to say something.

Also, they have a point about following Tesla’s own policies. If any other Tesla employee was tweeting some of the things Musk is tweeting, I wouldn’t surprised if they were reprimanded.

Musk’s behavior as of late has already undoubtedly negatively affected Tesla’s reputation, which is a problem. But it is also affecting employees and Tesla’s capacity to attract top talent, which is its biggest asset.

As of now, it is still topping the list of places engineers want to work, but I could see that changing if things continue the way they are going.

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