Workers in Tesla’s auto factories routinely suffer on-the-job injuries that are downplayed or neglected entirely in the interest of reducing company injury reports, according to an investigation published Monday by Reveal. “The goal of the clinic was to keep as many patients off of the books as possible,” one former physician assistant at Tesla told Reveal. She added, “Every company that I’ve worked at is motivated to keep things not recordable. But I’ve never seen anybody do it at the expense of treating the patient.” The report alleges that Tesla pushed doctors to refuse necessary medical care, like stitches, to avoid mandated injury reports—and that when employees were seriously injured, they were routinely sent to the hospital in a Lyft—despite the concerns of medical staff.
It also claims that the company repeatedly sent injured employees back to full-time work, even if it was obvious that they had superseding injuries including “burns, lacerations, strains and sprains.” “You always put back to full duty, no matter what,” a medical assistant told Reveal. Tesla declined to comment on the story, and the company behind Tesla’s health care center insisted that their doctors’ recommendations were in line with best practices.