Former Tesla employees have filed charges with the NLRB claiming that Tesla unlawfully fired them for speaking out about sexual harassment in the workplace and Tesla’s return to office policy.
SAN FRANCISCO (December 19, 2022) — Two former Tesla employees filed unfair labor practice charges against the company on December 15, 2022. The charges allege that Tesla violated the National Labor Relations Act by terminating the employees for engaging in protected concerted activity. Specifically, the employees were fired for being part of a group that was drafting two letters to Tesla’s executive team. One letter asked the leaders to reconsider the strict return-to-office policy that CEO Elon Musk announced on May 31, 2022, and permit remote or hybrid work arrangements for office workers. The second letter protested Mr. Musk’s gendered and sexualized Twitter posts as violating Tesla’s anti-harassment policy. The employees were fired before either letter was released internally at the company, but after the employees had solicited ideas and feedback from other employees on internal chat groups.
Attorneys Anne Shaver and Laurie Burgess filed the charges on behalf of the two employees, who are proceeding anonymously as Employees A and B.
Employee A said: “My colleagues and I experienced a hostile work environment at Tesla where management not only ignored harassment and discrimination, but also encouraged it to flourish. Despite my efforts to work in good faith to find solutions with HR and management, Tesla retaliated against me by illegally terminating my employment. Because of their unjust actions, I am filing an NLRB charge because I deserve better. All Tesla employees deserve better. And Tesla must be held accountable for their unfair labor practices that have harmed not just me, but thousands of their employees.”
Employee B said: “While at Tesla, my colleagues and I repeatedly experienced offensive conduct based on sex. When I reported the abusive behavior to management, they instructed me to ignore it. I collaborated with colleagues to make the case to leadership that we increase Tesla’s chances for success if we take action to protect all employees from unwelcome behavior. Instead of addressing the issue, Tesla terminated me. I have decided to file charges with the NLRB because I believe that employees like me have a right to be protected from sexual harassment in their workplace and Tesla leadership harmed me and my colleagues by violating that right.”
Lieff Cabraser attorney Anne Shaver said: “These unfortunate firings at Tesla are part of a broader pattern across Elon Musk companies of a total disregard for workers’ legal rights. It is illegal to fire employees for organizing for better workplace conditions, including the right to a harassment-free workplace.” Attorneys Shaver and Burgess also represent former SpaceX employees who have filed NLRB charges for similar conduct.
Information about Employees’ Counsel
The former Tesla employees are represented by Anne Shaver of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Laurie Burgess of Burgess Law Offices, PC.
Anne B. Shaver
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
Telephone: (415) 956-1000
Burgess Law Offices P.C.
498 Utah St.
San Francisco, CA 94110