California Classifies Tesla Fremont Plant Employees As Essential Workers
The California Department of Public Health is classifying Tesla employees at its Fremont plant as essential workers, meaning they’re exempt from new statewide COVID-19 health orders. The department says it considers manufacturing as an ‘essential workforce’ and that applies to Tesla’s manufacturing, CNBC reports.
California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom announced a ‘limited stay-at-home order’ to slow new coronavirus cases in the state. The rules, are to take effect today 21st November 2020, and prohibits non-essential work and personal gatherings between 10 PM and 5 AM.
This is a departure from the previous policy earlier in 2020 during the lockdown. In March 2020, Alameda County officials had initially told Tesla that it was not an essential business, ordering it to shut down. Tesla’s plant, however, continued operating, as its executives argued it was ‘national critical infrastructure’.
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The company later agreed to shut down its plant reducing its workforce there to ‘basic operations’. Then in May 2020, CEO Elon Musk announced he was reopening Tesla’s Fremont plant, violating the local shelter-in-place order.
He also sued the county, threatening to move its operations out of California. Musk was later accused of creating a ‘public health risk’ by reopening his factory before the state said otherwise. After the reopening of the Fremont California plant, at least six Tesla employees tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Musk recently announced he likely had a ‘moderate case of covid’ saying he tested positive, negative, and positive again.
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