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Tesla rolled out a new attendance policy for all U.S.-based hourly employees on July 1st, according to documentation shared with CNBC. The policy spells out specific penalties for lapses in attendance, and Tesla says it is meant to make it fairer -- for instance, employees who are 10 minutes late won't be penalized as harshly as those who are one hour late.
The changes to Tesla's attendance policy come weeks after the electric vehicle maker announced plans to slash its salaried workforce by at least 9 percent, or about 4,000 workers. The company is pushing hard to ramp up the production of its Model 3 electric sedans, and to achieve positive cash flow and profitability in the second half of this year.
Among other things, the policy says that managers can give workers demerits for showing up even one minute late to a scheduled shift, or leaving just one minute before the shift's official end, without permission. If employees rack up a certain number of these demerits, called "occurrences" internally, their employment will be terminated. Newer employees get fewer chances than those who have worked at Tesla for more than three months.
As an example, a long-time worker could be fired after nine occurrences of showing up five minutes late. That same worker might get only five chances to show up an hour late.
In addition, workers can be required on short notice to work overtime for "critical business needs" when "directed by Vice President level [managers] or higher."
Hourly employees include workers in Tesla's factories, call centers, service centers and roadside assistance groups, among others.
Tesla told CNBC, "Based on employee feedback, we’ve recently updated our attendance policy to be more fair and flexible. We’re appreciative of the hard work by our production teams, and regularly review policies to work for our employees. The policy update has been in the works for nearly two months and is similar to what you would find at other companies.”
Here's the new Tesla attendance policy in its entirety. (Formatting has been removed to protect source confidentiality.)