Report: Tesla Refuses to Pay Earned Bonuses to Laid-Off Worker

Elon Musk of Tesla confused
Getty/Peter Parks

A new report claims that Tesla has refused to pay a laid-off worker bonus payments linked to his hiring and performance.

The Mercury News reports that a Tesla factory supervisor was informed after he was laid off that he would not be receiving bonus payments that he was owed, according to his wife. Dan Pollock worked as a factory supervisor at Tesla before being laid off, his wife Kari Pollock took to Twitter to describe the company’s treatment of her husband”

“I’m shocked with how they treated him and how they refused to give him his 2018 performance bonus and the rest of his sign-on bonus,” Kari Pollock said of her husband, Dan Pollock.

Last week, Tesla announced it would cut 7 percent of its workforce, with CEO Elon Musk saying the firm faced an “extremely difficult challenge” in becoming competitive in an industry largely powered by fossil fuels.

All Tesla employees receive sign-on bonuses in company equity, and they may receive performance bonuses in equity or cash, according to the company. Both types of bonuses are given out on a schedule, with quarterly payments starting after a year of employment and continuing for four years. Tesla told Dan Pollock on Friday he would not receive the remainder of his sign-on bonus and his entire 2018 bonus, with the firm’s human resources office later clarifying that he would receive one of 48 payments from the 2018 bonus, Kari Pollock said.


Tesla commented on the issue and said that they had contacted Pollock about his bonus payments over the weekend:

“When someone leaves the company, voluntarily or involuntarily, they do not receive equity that has not yet vested,” Tesla said in a statement to this news organization. “This is common across companies and industries where equity is provided to employees and is not in any way unique to Tesla.”

The company said like other impacted Tesla employees at the Fremont factory, Dan Pollock will receive full pay and benefits for 60 days, plus his next quarterly equity award, which was scheduled to vest on March 5.

Tesla recruited Pollock, an Air Force veteran, from a position in New York as a production supervisor for a pharmaceutical company, his wife said. He started at Tesla in the spring of 2017. “We just thought this was an amazing opportunity,” she said. “I was proud of him and the whole family was proud of him. We bought Tesla merch for the kids for Christmas.”

After Kari Pollock went public Sunday on Twitter about the bonuses, commenters described her and her husband as naive, she said. “We were living in upstate New York and he was working for a company that doesn’t behave like (Tesla),” she said. “We just didn’t know. We’re not from the Silicon Valley and we just didn’t realize there was predatory behavior.”

Read the full article from the Mercury News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at


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