Crystal Guardado worked at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory when she was fired for violating what she called company’s “vague” drug use policy that company CEO Elon Musk used to terminate any employee they deemed as a “threat.”
Prior to her termination, Guardado says she’d informed the company that she had a medical marijuana recommendation and used cannabis, which might show up in a drug test.
But that didn’t stop Tesla from firing her. Guardado told Bloomberg News that she believes she was let go for being vocal about safety concerns within Tesla and for her support of the United Auto Workers union. Tesla denied to Bloomberg that it had fired anyone for supporting the union.
When Guardado watched Musk sharing a toke and downing whiskey with comedian Joe Rogan on his podcast recently, she was understandably irked by her former boss’s hypocrisy.
“It was just like a slap in the face to me and my son,” said Guardado, a single mom. “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.”
Referred to by one news site as “puff tweeted around the world,” Musk is undergoing a scalding public relations backlash.
Musk’s devil-may-care attitude, in addition to the public relations disasters, may end up costing him his US government security clearance. Musk has security clearance because another of his companies, SpaceX, provides satellite launch services to the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s stock prices dropped following Musk’s appearance on the podcast. Tesla’s chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, also resigned from the company after only one month on the job.
Morton cited displeasure over the intense public scrutiny and negative attention Tesla was receiving as his reason for resigning.
It looks like the company’s CEO decided to add to the negative attention.