by Karl Voigt
An industrial laborer fractures his ankle on an assembly line. He goes to his employer’s infirmary, receives some perfunctory first aid and is immediately sent back to work full duty, unable to even stand on his injured foot. Which in turn increases the likelihood of further injury – not just to him but to his colleagues on the floor. The injury is never reported to the state agency that oversees work injuries. He never receives medical care necessary for proper healing or wage loss benefits.
Does any of this sound familiar? Did it happen at some nineteenth century factory?
How about the present day in the factory of the country’s most advanced automobile manufacturer? That’s right, this happens all the time at Tesla’s California factory.
An article published from the Center for Investigative Reporting details this an many other examples of the employer’s skirting around workers’ compensation laws just to increase profits.
While founder Elon Musk announced at a shareholder meeting that his state-of-the-art on-site healthcare was instrumental in reducing lost-time injuries. Unfortunately, this “healthcare” isn’t designed to protect the health of Tesla employees; it’s designed to protect the health of the company. On-site doctors and health care professionals – employees paid by Tesla – are systematically pressured to get seriously injured workers back to work – at full duty, without protective physical limitations. So much so, that dissenters have actually been fired for looking out for the health of injured employees.
It is a system designed specifically to avoid reporting lost time injuries, protecting Tesla’s sensitive financial bottom line. Sound familiar?