Uber, Google, and Tesla are or have been under high scrutiny for federal lawsuits filed against each for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and wage disparities.
One of Tesla’s former engineers is fighting back after she believes the company, including Elon Musk, who is the CEO and product architect of Tesla, ignored misconduct claims she issued stating the company has been treating her unequal and that she has been a victim of harassment. She has hired a California employment and labor law attorney to step in to help fight this battle that has now become what might be a “bad look” for Tesla.
What Claims are Being Made Against Tesla?
The Guardian, which is only one of the many news source sites to cover the story, has highlighted some key pieces of “evidence” regarding the matter. AJ Vandermeyden, who is now a former Tesla engineer, first addressed the issue when she was interviewed with the Guardian back in February. While she has made claims that the company paid her less than her male counterparts and was sexually harassed while employed there, the company has issued a statement claiming Vandermeyden’s allegations are “unmerited.”
Unfortunately, most companies, especially large ones like Tesla who are accused of sexual harassment or wrongful termination deny any allegations placed against them.
The fact is, employees have the right to speak out on an issue and are protected by various labor laws that prohibit their employer from retaliating against them for speaking out. And according to Vandermeyden’s employment law lawyer, this is exactly what is happening in this particular case. Vandermeyden was trying to spotlight Tesla for failing to provide an equitable workplace, but instead she was terminated from the company. However, the lawsuit has come about because “it is illegal in the state of California for an employer to retaliate against an employee who asserts her rights, including her rights to receive equal pay as her male colleagues.”
Some specific complaints Vandermeyden brought forward include:
- She was paid less than male engineers whose positions she took over.
- When “she raised issues regarding the flaws in the quality testing of cars that her supervisors and male engineers missed,” the men were given positions over her even though she had brought the issues to light as well as solutions for them.
- She also stated that the men working on the factory floor were harassing her with “inappropriate language, whistling, and catcalls.”
While Vandermeyden was worried that her speaking out regarding the issues would cause her to lose her job, now that it has, she feels her voice might help bring awareness to the issue going on at Tesla and her California employment and labor law attorney can help fight back against the wrongful termination that has resulted from this.
Things Aren’t looking Too Bright for Elon Musk
Aside from the recent lawsuit filed against Musk’s company, some are saying he might want reconsider stepping down from the Trump administration as that might be a good look for him and his “goal to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilizations” as stated on The Verge. But, with Trump’s decision to pull the U.S out of the Paris climate agreement, others are speculating whether pulling out might actually be a good thing.
Either way, things don’t seem to be in favor of Elon Musk lately or his company.