Layoffs and furloughs affect at least 100 Hanford Faraday Future employees

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Action News has learned more about the local impact of a financial crisis at Faraday Future, the electric car startup based in Southern California.

Up until now, it's been unclear just how many employees at the manufacturing facility in Hanford have been affected by the company's decision to cut employees or their pay.

But Action News spoke with an employee from Hanford who wishes to remain anonymous.

The source shared a letter given to employees last week that explains the company's financial hardship due to the actions of its Chinese investor, Evergrande, and its pursuit of alternative funding sources.

"...FF is requiring most employees who have worked for the Company less than six months to take the months of November and December off without pay," the letter states. "Employees are not to perform any work during these two months. This is known as a furlough. During the furlough, you may file for unemployment compensation."

The source says approximately 60 employees from Hanford have been furloughed, and a week and a half before that, 40 Hanford employees were laid off.

The source says there are only about ten managers and directors left at the facility.

Action News also obtained a resignation e-mail from Dag Reckhorn, the company's senior vice president of manufacturing and public face of the Hanford facility.

In the e-mail, Reckhorn says he is heartbroken about leaving the best team he's ever worked with, but that he would contribute $10,000 to an emergency fund set up for affected employees.

The GoFundMe page, called FF Manufacturing Family Funding, has raised more than $15,000, with a goal of $50,000.

"This is to help all of those Manufacturing Team members that are in need of financial support because of lay off or mandatory furlough," the page says.

The letter to employees says the furlough is expected to last through December, but that could change.

If the company obtains sufficient funding, it says returning employees will be reimbursed for the wages they didn't receive during the furlough and that the company will consider providing those workers with stock options equivalent to one-year's salary.

Company representatives couldn't confirm the number of Hanford employees affected.

They released the following statement:

I will confirm we have had some folks laid off as well as others furloughed recently at our Hanford facility but I cannot confirm exact numbers. You are correct on the timing of the two workforce adjustments however. Please know that FF is actively pursuing other investors (funding plan) so we can bring our Hanford operations back online but this process will take some time.

During this interim period, FF is requiring certain employees to take an unpaid leave of absence (furlough) for the months of November and December and is offering other employees the option of taking the furlough for the same period of time. Employees who joined FF after May 1 must take a furlough. For those employees who started with FF before May 1, they may continue to work their regular schedule at a reduced level of compensation. All employees will continue to receive healthcare benefits if they previously received benefits from FF.

This was an extremely tough decision to make, and we recognize the emotional stress and financial strain this puts on people's personal lives. We are grateful to all of the hundreds of employees who are willing to stay and continue to work on the FF 91 core project, as well as those who will be on a temporary furlough. In addition, we take our relationship with our suppliers seriously, and we hope to receive support and understanding from our global partners as FF overcomes our difficulties.

FF anticipates the furlough to last through the end of December 2018. However, the actual length of this furlough depends on the funding plan that is being vigorously pursued. We continue to push forward to find additional funding from investors globally as we strive to retain our people and our suppliers.

We take pride in our close-knit community, and we are mindful of the impact these changes will have on our employees and their families. FF was born to disrupt and we are committed to making progress towards our goals, and continuing the necessary investments in our people, our products, technology, and business to develop an industry-leading connected mobility ecosystem without compromising our core values.

-John Schilling, Faraday Future
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