Ambulances have been called more than 100 times since 2014 for workers experiencing fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains, according to incident reports obtained by the Guardian. Hundreds more were called for injuries and other medical issues.
However, some Tesla workers argue the company’s treatment of injured workers discourages them from reporting their injuries. If workers are assigned to “light duty” work because of an injury, they are paid a lower wage as well as supplemental benefits from workers’ compensation insurance, a practice that Tesla said was in line with other employers and California law. Tesla said some injured employees are also able to undertake “modified work” on regular pay.
“I went from making $22 an hour to $10 an hour,” said a production worker, who injured his back twice while working at Tesla. “It kind of forces people to go back to work.”