Tesla employee sues company over sexual harassment at Fremont factory

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Published: Nov 22, 2021, 10:13 PM(IST)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Barazza claimed that Musk does not set a good example for his employees through his sexually suggestive tweets.

The world's most valuable carmaker Tesla is facing allegations of rampant sexual harassment. 

A 38-year-old employee at the Fremont factory in California has revealed that she was subjected to catcalling and sexual assault by her colleagues for three years. The woman alleged that her supervisors and Tesla's human resource department paid no heed to it.

The woman has now sued the company and accused CEO Elon Musk of fuelling wrongful acts at the workplace through his tweets.

A woman named Jessica Barazza last week filed a lawsuit claiming that she was subjected to constant harassment including "catcalling" and "inappropriate physical touching" by her colleagues.

"Nearly every day for three years, my female co-workers and I were objectified, threatened, touched and propositioned on the factory floor. I felt degraded, humiliated and traumatised," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit further stated that supervisors and managers at the Fremont factory were not just aware of such pervasive harassment but also participated in abusive behaviour.

The lawsuit claimed that the victim filed several internal complaints but Tesla's human resource department did nothing to address it instead it disabled an email address meant for filing such complaints.

Although the allegations are shocking, however, it is hardly surprising since Tesla has a history of covering up workplace harassment especially at its factory in Fremont which has been identified as a "predator zone" in several lawsuits.

In February 2017 another woman employee had sued Tesla for pervasive harassment at the Fremont plant. The company allgedly responded by firing her for what it said were "false accusations".

In October 2017, a black employee at the Fremont plant accused his supervisors of racial harassment. The charges this time were upheld as Tesla was ordered to pay $137 million in damages.

Barazza claimed that Musk does not set a good example for his employees through his sexually suggestive tweets. She cited a tweet from October 21 where Musk joked about starting a new university dubbed the "Texas Institute of Technology & Science" - a name which many deduced as a crude acronym for a female body part.

The woman claimed that such irresponsible tweets from Musk have been fuelling a culture of misogyny and objectification of women employees at the workplace.

Tesla which disbanded its public relations department last year is yet to respond to the allegations.

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