Tesla layoffs: Employees say they were notified by overnight email

Cybertrucks lined the side of the highway in southeast Austin amid new reports that Tesla is temporarily halting deliveries. 

This comes as a top Tesla executive announced his resignation on Twitter Monday, April 15 and the company announced mass layoffs.

"Just out of the blue they laid me off," said Bradley Olson. 

Until Monday, Olson worked on Model Ys at the Gigafactory Texas. He says he happened to check his phone around 2 a.m. Monday because he worked the overnight shift. He was also locked out of his Microsoft Teams account.

Then he got the email.

"I had like a straight-up panic attack," said Olson. "I was sobbing and woke my mom up early to tell her about it."


Some employees even showed up to work on Monday morning.

"I was literally standing outside trying to figure out why my badge wasn't working. Why is it that I can't log in?" said one employee, a single mom of three kids, who wanted to remain anonymous. "Come to find out I was laid off."

The employees FOX 7 spoke to were sent an email notifying them around 3 a.m. Monday morning. It noted the need for "cost reductions" and "increasing productivity." 

"As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount globally. Unfortunately, as a result, your position has been eliminated by this restructuring," reads the email.

"Please know this decision was not made lightly, and we are deeply grateful for the hard work and dedication during your time with us."

Employees were told in the email that their last working day was Sunday, April 14.

A separate letter was also included with further information on the WARN act in case of "any possible obligation under the federal or any other applicable state or local law."

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the WARN Act requires most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.

Official employment termination will occur as early as June 14, according to the letter, and employees will be paid and receive benefits until then.


FOX 7 Austin reached out to the Texas Workforce Commission and was told TWC does not currently have a WARN notice on file for Tesla, Inc., so they "do not currently have any information about Tesla employees being impacted by provisions of the WARN notice." 

According to a spokesperson for TWC, there are several factors that can influence whether a layoff should trigger a WARN notice, and TWC cannot make a determination in this situation without confirming those factors.

According to Tesla, terminated employees will receive further information regarding severance packages and benefits continuation within 48 hours of the original email.

"It's ridiculous - the bomb just dropped on me and who knows how many other people," the employee told FOX 7 Austin. "Just a heads-up would have been nice."

FOX 7 Austin has reached out to Tesla to learn how many employees are being impacted, specifically in Austin, but has not yet received a response.