An employee on the night shift for the Model 3 at Tesla’s Fremont plant has sued the company. According to her account, it did nothing about the multiple sexual harassment to which she had been subjected for nearly three years, the Washington Post reported late last week. The attacks are said to have been both verbal and physical. Usually, such cases are negotiated more discreetly in arbitration proceedings, but the lawyer for those affected describes the clause in their contract with Tesla as unenforceable.
Harassment on Tesla night shift
According to the report, the lawsuit speaks of “nightmarish conditions” and “rampant sexual harassment at Tesla”. The woman claims to have heard comments about her body almost every day while working in Fremont and that she was often touched in an undesirable manner. Some of her statements were confirmed by colleagues, reports the Washington Post, including the last case that ultimately tipped the scales in favor of the lawsuit: When she punched in again after the lunch break, a male colleague slipped a leg between her thighs then presented as an oversight.
The employee reported such incidents to her superiors and their superiors several times, said her lawyer in an interview with Yahoo Finance. Each time, however, Tesla’s reaction was simply to relocate her to other areas of the factory. In September and October, she complained to Human Resources, the Washington Post report said; But Tesla did nothing. The 38-year-old plaintiff is currently said to be on sick leave due to a post-traumatic stress disorder.
In another trial, a jury awarded an external employee at the Fremont factory the spectacular sum of $ 137 million for racist abuse in early October. Tesla has reportedly applied to reduce the payment to $ 600,000. The attorney for the woman now suing harassment sees a similar dynamic behind both cases, he told the Washington Post. It is all about dominance, degradation and dehumanization, once in a racist and once in a misogynist form.
Lawsuit mentions CEO Musk’s TITS joke
After the racism ruling, Tesla’s head of HR declared internally and then publicly that at the time of these incidents in 2015 and 2016, the company was not the same as it is today. Tesla is still not perfect, but has improved and is still working on it. For the now complaining night-shift employee, CEO Elon Musk himself contributes to the difficult culture with a view to sexual harassment. At the end of October, he joked on Twitter about starting a university with the abbreviation TITS. According to the plaintiff, this gives the workforce the feeling that such behavior is okay at Tesla.