Tesla Fires 229 Autopilot Employees
According to a California regulatory filing, Tesla will fire 229 data annotation employees and will close the San Mateo, California, office where they work. The employees are reportedly part of the Autopilot team, Tesla's automated driving system.
It is reported that Tesla San Mateo office employs 276 employees. People familiar with the matter said the remaining 47 employees may be assigned to Tesla's Buffalo Autopilot office (Tesla's Buffalo Autopilot office) work. One of the people familiar with the matter said that most of the employees in Tesla's San Mateo office are engaged in low-skill, low-paying jobs, such as Autopilot data labeling work (Autopilot data labeling work can help Tesla determine the ability of its algorithm to identify objects).
Rumors of layoffs on this team, whose work will be transferred to Tesla's Buffalo team, have been discussed for months, sources close to the situation noted.
The layoffs are part of Tesla CEO Musk's plan to cut 10 percent of the workforce announced last month.
Previously, it was reported that nearly 200 Tesla employees had been laid off, according to sources familiar with the matter. This report has now been confirmed through a notice under the Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN ACT), which requires companies conducting mass layoffs to provide 60 days' notice to affected employees.
Tesla has already faced at least one lawsuit for failing to provide WARN notices, and in June, two former Tesla employees who were laid off filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas alleging that the company failed to provide 60 days' advance notice to employees laid off in its latest round of layoffs, as required by federal law.
Last week, attorneys for the two former Tesla employees filed an emergency motion with the court asking a judge to prohibit Tesla from forcing employees to sign severance agreements in exchange for less than the severance pay required by federal law.