Tesla informs employees on Juneteenth that they can take off holiday unpaid

Just before 8 a.m. PT Friday, Tesla’s head of personnels sent an e-mail telling U.S. workers they might take the day off to observe Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday that honors completion of slavery in the United States.

Moments later, HR head Valerie Capers Workman clarified that workers who selected to take the day of rest would be unpaid, according to an e-mail viewed by TechCrunch. CNBC was the very first to report the early morning emails. The email was sent out as employees on the west coast were beginning their workday. For those in other time zones, including those who are used at the company’s Buffalo, New York factory, the e-mail showed up well into the work day.

Tesla did not react to an ask for comment.

The timing of the e-mails– sent out on the day of the vacation– has prompted criticism. It’s also raised concerns about how it may impact a planned Juneteenth demonstration at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory, which employs more than 10,000 employees.

Later this morning, and possibly in action to press back, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Juneteenth will be considered a U.S. holiday at Tesla and SpaceX progressing.

Minutes later on, HR head Valerie Capers Workman clarified that staff members who chose to take the day off would be unpaid, according to an e-mail viewed by TechCrunch. The timing of the e-mails– sent out on the day of the vacation– has actually prompted criticism. Workers are set aside a particular number of PTO days per year depending on length of employment and position. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that servants in Galveston, Texas became mindful of their freedom when a Union basic reached the region 2 months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia.

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