Tesla’s Layoff Emails Are Strange, Vague And Heartless

Don’t you think he looks tired? - Photo: Apu Gomes (Getty Images)
Don’t you think he looks tired? - Photo: Apu Gomes (Getty Images)

Tesla has spent the last month laying off seemingly anyone the company can even sort of spare - and plenty of folks that it likely can’t. When a company does such massive layoffs, it often leads onlookers to wonder: How does it go down for the workers?

Well, thanks to the Verge, we now know exactly how those Tesla workers learned of their imminent joblessness. A freshly laid off worker sent their dismissal email to the outlet, showing both the casual cruelty and the deeply odd wording used to let people know they’d been sacked. The email opens with one long, repetitive sentence:

I am reaching out to let you know that after a careful review of your permanent work restrictions and your role, it was determined that there was no reasonable accommodation that would enable you to perform the essential functions of your position in your role.


The phrase “your role” is repetitious and redundant, but more interesting is the mention of “your permanent work restrictions.” The sender never goes into detail on that front, but it’s not clear whether this is referencing a preexisting accommodation — flexible hours, remote work, something along those lines — or the simple “restriction” of a person working within their job title and not reaching out past it.

The email makes mention of an internal job search, looking to match the recipient with another open position at Tesla before kicking them out to the curb. That section ends with, “Given recent changes in the business, we also do not currently anticipate any such openings in the near term” — not a fantastic outlook on the company’s future, if hiring will be so severely limited for the time being.

Given Tesla’s reluctance to engage with unions, the company may not want to take quite such a harsh and sudden approach to layoffs. When morale is low, and job security feels like a far-off dream, that’s when people often tend to find their solidarity as workers. Just a thought.

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