Former Tesla Inc employees have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. electric car company, alleging its decision to carry out a “mass layoff” violated federal law because the company failed to provide notice of job cuts.
The lawsuit was filed Sunday night in Texas by two workers who said they were fired from Tesla’s massive factory in Sparks, Nevada, in June.
According to the lawsuit, more than 500 employees were terminated at the Nevada plant.
The workers allege the company failed to comply with federal mass layoff laws that require a 60-day notification period under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, according to the lawsuit.
They are seeking class-action status for all former Tesla employees across the United States who were terminated in May or June without notice.
“Tesla merely informed the employees that their layoffs would be effective immediately,” the complaint states.
Tesla, which did not comment on the number of layoffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, said earlier this month that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and that Tesla needed to cut its workforce by about 10%, according to an email seen by Reuters.
More than 20 people identifying themselves as Tesla employees said they were fired, fired or fired this month, according to online posts and interviews with Reuters.
The lawsuit brought by John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield, who were fired on June 10 and June 15 respectively, seeks pay and benefits for the 60-day notice period.
“It is quite shocking that Tesla is in flagrant violation of federal labor laws by firing so many workers without providing the required notice,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer representing the workers, told Reuters.
She said Tesla was only offering some employees one week of severance pay, adding that she was preparing an emergency court petition to try to stop Tesla from trying to secure releases. employees in exchange for a single week’s severance.
Musk downplayed the lawsuit as “insignificant”.
“Let’s not read too much into a pretrial trial that has no value,” he said at the Qatar Economic Forum hosted by Bloomberg.
“It seems that anything related to Tesla gets a lot of clicks, whether it’s insignificant or significant. I would put that lawsuit you’re referring to in the insignificant category.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; edited by Richard Pullin and Jason Neely