Tesla is conducting layoffs of salaried personnel due to what Tesla describes as overstaffing during a rapid phase of growth. It is usually illegal to use a reduction in force to eliminate employees for any reason other than a lack of work. In many cases, it is hard to prove a company used bias when developing its lists of employees for the RIF.
CEOs may consider refraining from comments that sound an awful lot like they want to fire certain classes of people that are going to be lined up in the layoff.
Tesla ramped up the layoffs last week, and we reported that unlike what Musk said, they did include hourly employees.
Now we learn that many employees involved in diversity and inclusivity programs were part of the layoffs – including the president of Tesla's LGBTQ+ community – and a lead involved in diversity and inclusivity programs at the company.
Sources also told Electrek about a software engineer that was also let go by Tesla last week. They had been working at Tesla for four years – most recently as senior software engineer in charge of naming conventions in Tesla's vehicle UI team – and had been promoted three times. The software engineer volunteered as a diversity and inclusion leader and was involved in employee protection when it came to issues of diversity and inclusion. (Update: we removed their name.)
The layoffs of those diversity leaders at Tesla come amid CEO Elon Musk making several comments about what he calls "the woke mind virus," which he believes is "destroying civilization."