An ex-Tesla employee who says she was fired for testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, called CEO Elon Musk’s decision to smoke marijuana during an interview a “slap in the face.”
Crystal Guardado, a single mother, told Bloomberg News that she worked at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., manufacturing center for four months before being dismissed. Guardado said Musk and Tesla use a “vague” drug use policy to target and punish employees who are seen as a “threat.”
Guardado told the outlet that her use of doctor-recommended drops could make her test positive for the drug, a condition she says she told the company about prior to her termination.
“It was just like a slap in the face to me and my son,” Guardado said. “Elon Musk is just smoking it out in the open, knowing that he uses his very vague drug policy as a way to fire people that are a threat to him.”
Guardado told Bloomberg that she believes she was fired for being vocal about safety concerns and for her support of the United Auto Workers union. Tesla denied to Bloomberg that it had fired anyone for supporting the union.
Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Guardado’s claims.
Musk told podcast host Joe Rogan on his show, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” that he was not a regular user of the drug and maintained that he didn’t usually notice the drug’s effects.
Shares of Tesla stock slid Friday following Musk’s appearance on the podcast and amid the departure of the company’s chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, who left after just a month on the job.
Morton cited the company’s public scrutiny in his letter tendering his resignation. Tesla has battled negative headlines surrounding Musk’s behavior, including a reported Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Musk’s stated intention on Twitter to take the company private.
“Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
“As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future. I want to be clear that I believe strongly in Tesla, its mission, and its future prospects, and I have no disagreements with Tesla’s leadership or its financial reporting,” he added.
Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the company’s debt to “junk” status earlier this year.
BY JOHN BOWDEN – 09/08/18