Tesla Inc. was sued by some former employees who alleged that the company’s decision to lay off about 10% of its workforce violated federal law by failing to provide required advance notice for the layoffs.
Two workers laid off this month at Tesla’s battery plant near Reno allege the company failed to meet the 60-day notification requirement under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, according to the federal lawsuit they filed late Sunday in Austin, Texas. submitted.
John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield, who worked at the plant for about five years, were among the more than 500 employees of the facility laid off, according to the lawsuit. The two men claim neither of them was notified in advance of the termination. They are demanding class action status for their lawsuit on behalf of others who were part of mass layoffs in May and June.
The so-called WARN law requires companies to give 60 days notice of a mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees in a single location. Lynch said he was notified on June 10 that he was fired with immediate effect, and Hartsfield said he was notified on June 15.
“Tesla started firing people in blatant disregard for the WARN law,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston labor attorney who represents the workers, said in an interview Monday.
Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.
The electric car maker, now headquartered in Austin, has grown to approximately 100,000 employees worldwide and has been hiring rapidly in recent months. The job losses, which involved everyone from personnel representatives to software engineers, surprised many.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation and benefits for 60 days after their notice of termination, along with attorneys’ fees and costs.
In early June, CEO Elon Musk said in an email to Tesla executives that he had a “super bad feeling” about the direction of the economy and plans to cut his salaried workforce by 10% and stop hiring, according to the report. Reuters. In another email, he said Tesla would increase its overall workforce this year.
Musk, currently the world’s richest person, has been embroiled in multiple recent conflicts with his employees and those of Twitter, which he has pledged to acquire for $43 billion.
Last week, employees of SpaceX, his private space company, circulated a letter calling his behavior “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment to us.” SpaceX quickly fired the employees behind the letter.
Last week, Musk also held a question-and-answer session with Twitter employees, in which he answered questions about things like his stance on remote work — he recently threatened to fire Tesla executives who didn’t show up at the office — and his growing support. for Republican politicians.
Following the call, conservative activists posted leaked chat logs in which Twitter employees criticized Musk’s responses to Slack. Musk responded to the leak on Twitter, writing, “Interesting.”