(RTTNews) — Two former Tesla employees filed a lawsuit Sunday, alleging the electric car maker violated federal laws by laying off several employees on short notice.
On June 2, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an internal email to executives saying he had a “very bad feeling” about the economy and said the company had had to cut about 10 percent of its workforce, according to Reuters.
Over the next few days, two workers at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, said their services were terminated, according to court documents. One John Lynch said he was notified of his immediate dismissal on June 10, while Daxton Hartsfield said he was notified on June 15 and terminated the same day.
The document said Lynch and Hartsfield, who filed the lawsuit, said at least 500 of their co-workers at the Nevada plant lost their jobs around the same time.
According to court documents, prosecutors said Tesla’s actions violated the Workers’ Retraining Amendment and Notification Act, which requires employers to notify workers at least 60 days before closing the plant or laying off 50 or more workers at the same location.
“Tesla simply notified employees that their termination of employment would be effective immediately. Tesla also failed to provide a statement on the basis of reducing the notice period to zero days of advance notice,” the court document said. Lynch and Hartsfield are looking to claim 60 days of wages and benefits. They are also seeking class action status for the lawsuit of those that were terminated in May and June without sufficient notice.
According to Shannon Lees Riordan, a Boston-based attorney representing workers, “We have filed a national class action to challenge Tesla’s unlawful layoffs of workers without notice to workers. We will continue to pay the overtime owed to employees through this class action, or individually if necessary.”
Musk tried to downplay the lawsuit on Tuesday, saying it had “no standing.” “This is a small lawsuit that has no consequences,” Musk said in a live video interview at the Qatar Economic Forum. There are about 100,000 Tusk employees globally at the end of 2021, according to an SEC filing.
Others claiming to be former Tesla workers spoke out about their layoffs shortly after Musk’s internal email about firing 10% of Tesla’s workforce.
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