Print 81 comment(s) - last by Cypherdude1.. on Oct 20 at 9:31 PM

In the world of cold business dealings, the story of Tesla Motors recent cuts strikes particularly cruel

DailyTech previously covered the hot, but pricey Tesla Roadster, among the first of the next generation of electric cars which the Chevy Volt and others will soon be joining.  The Tesla Roadster was the product of Tesla Motors, a bright seeming startup with big dreams.  Despite the $100,000 price tag, hopes for the company are high.

Now Tesla Motors employees are finding the hard reality of the sagging economy is catching up to their company.  And worse yet in perhaps a sign of things to come, the company for which they had loyally worked has delivered them a particularly stinging rejection.

Corporate layoffs are nothing new.  Yahoo is contemplating more cuts, and Sprint and CNET were among others who made cuts earlier in the year.  Still, the layoff of roughly 90 percent of Tesla Motors work force at its Michigan location in Rochester Hills, 30 minutes north of Detroit stands out as unique and disturbing.

Workers at Tesla Motors showed up to work, just like any other day.  Some of them, unsurprisingly avid readers of auto-blogs took a quick peak on the internet to catch up with their morning news.  That's when a couple employees noticed that a story on auto-blog ValleyWag had news of Tesla Motor layoffs.  And the blog Jalopnik followed up that the layoffs would be taking place that day in Rochester Hills.

Logging on their own company site, sure enough it read that they were being laid off and were now obsolete.  Apparently no one had considered it a good idea to send them that memo, though.  Roughly 90 percent of the employees at the location received pink slips.  Tesla is reportedly cutting up to 100 employees, roughly half its workforce.  They're also demoting their CEO and replacing him. 

The few employees that weren't cut perhaps suffered an even worse fate.  They were ordered to relocate to Tesla Motor's San Jose headquarters and pay for the expense of the move themselves.  They would receive no increase in compensation.  Worst of all the company offered no help in selling their employees' homes, which will likely be a painful task amid Detroit's ravaged real estate landscape.

Perhaps most ironic of all was the pink slip message the employees being cut received.  The message read:

There will also be some headcount reduction due to consolidation of operations. In anticipation of moving vehicle engineering to our new HQ in San Jose, we are ramping down and will close our Rochester Hills office near Detroit. Good communication, tightly knit engineering and a common company culture are of paramount importance as Tesla grows.

While we certainly haven't seen the last of Tesla Motors, one certainly wonders if they can survive the rigors of the current economic climate with such a curious definition of "good communication."

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RE: Big mistake
By Samus on 10/19/2008 4:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
The last job I had still owes me my last paycheck. They answer my calls and misdirect them, don't reply to emails, and when I showed up a few months ago my boss and anybody high up refused to see me and they asked me to leave. It was a small business and this was a few years ago, but the cold email I received informing me not to come back in and to mail my company materials back via certified mail at my own expense was shattering. They threatened that failure to return materials would be turned over to a collection agency. That's a given, it doesn't need to be said, nobody steals their old laptop from a job they get laid off from, do they?

Anywho yea corporate america is pissfucked.

RE: Big mistake
By Cypherdude1 on 10/20/2008 9:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not paying employees is a serious offense. There are many different government agencies, state, local and federal, which deal with this issue. What you need to do is research this issue, then send a fax or letter over to the CEO of the company explaining that if they don't cough up your pay, you'll start contacting these agencies. They're essentially bullying you. Warn them that if you don't receive your paycheck within 2 weeks, you'll start writing complaints. They threatened you with a collection agency. You threaten them with governmental intervention, which can be very expensive to them BTW. Perhaps a lawyer can even represent you pro bono. You can also threaten them with going to a newspaper if everything else doesn't work. You would have a stronger case if you had done all this a few weeks after the occurrence.
The last job I had still owes me my last paycheck. ...this was a few years ago...

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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