Court orders Tesla to inform sacked employees of lawsuit
The automotive giant receives its second lawsuit shock this month for giving laid-off workers less than legally required severance.
Automotive mogul, Tesla, was ordered by the US District Court for the Western District of Texas to notify its laid-off employees of the lawsuit that claims it breached federal and state law by demanding workers to sign separation agreements.
The suit was filed in July after two former Tesla employees alleged that their employer required them to sign releases in exchange for less severance than California state law stipulates - granting them one week of dismissal wages as opposed to the state-approved eight.
Attorneys requested to prevent Tesla from requiring laid-off employees to sign release forms, as Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Sparks, Nevada, discharged more than 500 other workers amid CEO Elon Musk’s announcement of a near economic plunge that would lead the company to dismiss 10% of its salaried employee pool.
Jointly filed by another laid-off worker from Tesla’s Palo Alto store in California, the litigation states that Section 1400 of the California Labor Code, as well as the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, were violated by Tesla since they discharged workers without abiding by the 60 days of advance notice.
The court order read: “Plaintiffs allege that the separation agreements executed after this lawsuit was filed are coercive, abusive, and misleading because Tesla fails to inform terminated employees/potential class members about ‘the pending litigation and the rights that they are potentially giving up,'" but Tesla hit back to counteract the claims in August.
In the process, on Friday, the district court ruled that the automotive firm must follow through with its employees to inform them about the lawsuit “until the merits of Plaintiffs’ claims are resolved in federal court or in arbitration proceedings.”
Until the case is closed, the court order that was issued Friday protects workers let go on or after June 19, and it rejected the plaintiffs’ request for pay and benefits for the 60-day notification period.
In a thread of lawsuits, a complaint filed this past Wednesday in the California Northern District Court revealed that Tesla's ADAS technology costs its owners thousands of dollars each year by causing cars to veer into oncoming traffic, miss turns, and run red lights.
The complaint claims that since 2016, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have been falsely portraying their ADAS technology as completely functional or almost "solved", despite knowing full well that the real-world performance of Autopilot and FSD falls short of the hype.
Tesla was also sued in July by 15 former or current Black employees in California for allegedly failing to prevent racial discrimination and sexual harassment at one of its factories, who were subject to racial slurs, derogatory comments, and racially-motivated harassment.
According to the filing, the workers accused some of their colleagues of frequently using the N-word and other racist or discriminatory terms.