Two former Tesla employees have filed a lawsuit against the electric vehicle giant. The employees were laid off from the Nevada Gigafactory.
The lawsuit alleges the company’s decision to lay off more than 500 workers during May and June. Further, it stated that the employees laid off without due notice constitutes a breach of the workers’ rights. The core issue was Tesla’s decision to terminate these employees “effective immediately”.
The lawsuit says that the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires companies to provide at least a 60-day notice period for any mass layoff.
As said in the complaint, “Tesla has simply notified the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately.”
The action filed by John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield who was fired on June 10 and June 15 respectively, seeks pay and benefits for the 60-day notification period. The lawsuit is also seeking class-action status by hoping to include all employees that were laid off by Tesla in May and June.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney representing the workers said, “It’s pretty shocking that Tesla would just blatantly violate federal labor law by laying off so many workers without providing the required notice. Tesla is offering some employees only one week of severance.”
She said that she is preparing an emergency motion with a court to try to block Tesla from trying to get releases from employees in exchange for just one week of severance.
The suit was filed in the US District Court, Western District of Texas.
Tesla which has not commented on the number of layoffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the lawsuit.
Earlier Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla has called for the layoff of 10 percent of the company’s white-collar workforce in an internal company email on June 3.
Some laid-off employees have confirmed the same on LinkedIn, as the employees are seeking new roles. Senior and managerial-level positions are amongst those who are also being affected by the layoffs.
A project lead, a senior regional warehouse manager, a few trainers as well as a CGI animation lead are among those who have also been affected by the layoffs.
Musk has earlier said that he believes the US is headed for a recession. He also told Tesla staff that “remote work is no longer acceptable,” requiring salaried employees to return to the office and work a minimum of 40 hours a week.
The Company has already decided on a hiring pause earlier, fearing recession. Tesla and its subsidiaries had about 100,000 employees at the end of 2021, according to a Tesla US regulatory filing.