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Tesla will reportedly furlough workers, cut salaries due to coronavirus shutdown

Elon Musk's electric car company apparently hopes to resume normal operations on May 4.

Tesla is seemingly furloughing employees or cutting their pay.
James Martin/CNET
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Tesla told employees that it'll furlough US workers and cut salaries as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Reuters and Forbes, which cited an internal email. The electric car company's measures will apparently begin April 13 and may end May 4, if work restarts by then.

Employees at the vice president level and above will see 30% pay cuts, directors and higher will lose 20% and all other US employees' pay will be cut by 10%, the email from HR official Valerie Workman reportedly said, with similar hits for overseas staff. Those who can't work at home or aren't assigned critical onsite work will be furloughed, meaning they won't be paid, but their health benefits will continue.

Tesla didn't respond to a request for comment.

Last month, Tesla closed its Fremont, California, factory, which employs more than 10,000 people, following a back-and-forth with authorities.

The new strain of coronavirus, which can develop into a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December and has spread worldwide in the months since. As of Wednesday morning, it had infected more than 1.4 million people and caused over 82,000 deaths globally.

CEO Elon Musk said its Tesla New York factory would restart to make free ventilators for the state, but an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo later clarified that Tesla would make one part of the ventilator. He also noted that they hadn't been delivered as of April 5.

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