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Former Workers Sue Tesla for Mass Layoffs That Axed More Than 500
- Two former Tesla employees have filed a lawsuit against Tesla, claiming its mass layoffs violated federal law.
- In early June, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla needed to cut 10% of its staff, per Reuters.
- The two former employees are looking to claim 60 days’ worth of pay and benefits.
In a filed lawsuit Sunday, two former Tesla employees claim the electric carmaker violated federal law by laying off hundreds of employees on short notice.
On June 2, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an internal email to executives saying he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and saying the company needed to terminate about 10% of its workforce, according to Reuters.
Over the next few days, two workers at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, say they were terminated, according to a court document seen by Insider. John Lynch said he was notified of his immediate dismissal on June 10, while Daxton Hartsfield said he was informed on June 15 and terminated on the same day.
Lynch and Hartsfield, who filed the lawsuit, said at least 500 of their coworkers in Nevada lost their jobs at around the same time, the document showed.
The court document showed the plaintiffs stated Tesla’s actions violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires employers to notify workers at least 60 calendar days in advance before shutting down a plant or laying off 50 or more workers at the same site.
“Tesla has simply notified the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately. Tesla has also failed to provide a statement of the basis for reducing the notification period to zero days advance notice,” the court document said.
Lynch and Hartsfield are looking to claim 60 days’ worth of pay and benefits. They are also seeking class action status for the argument for those who were terminated in May and June without sufficient notice.
“It’s pretty shocking that Tesla would just blatantly violate federal labor law by laying off so many workers without providing the required notice,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based lawyer representing the workers, told Reuters on Monday.
Tesla employed about 100,000 people globally at the end of 2021, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Others have also claimed that they were fired on short notice
Others who claim to be former Tesla workers also have spoken up about being laid off on soon after Musk’s internal email about firing 10% of Tesla’s workforce.
A LinkedIn user based in Austin whose profile says he was a Tesla recruiter shared that the company recently fired him. A San Francisco user who claims he was a software engineer said he was laid off by Tesla four days ago. Christopher Bousigues, Tesla’s Singapore country manager, said in a post last week that he was terminated. Bousigues declined Insider’s request for comment.
Liss-Riordan and Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside of regular working hours.
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