Tesla Inc. is facing a day in court after former employees have filed a lawsuit accusing it of violating the federal law with its decision to carry out a mass layoff without providing advance notice of the job cuts.
The lawsuit against the US electric car company was filed in the US District Court, Western District of Texas, on Sunday by two former workers – John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield – who were terminated from Tesla’s gigafactory plant in Sparks, Nevada, in mid-June along with more than 500 other employees.
According to the lawsuit seeking class-action status for all former Tesla employees in the US who were terminated without advance notice in May or June, Tesla Inc. failed to adhere to federal laws on mass layoffs that under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act require a 60-day notification period.
The complaint said that the US electric car company simply notified the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately and also seeks pay and benefits for Lynch and Hartsfield for the 60-day notification period.
The attorney representing the workers, Shannon Liss-Riordan, pointed out it’s shocking that Tesla would just blatantly violate federal labor law and lay off so many workers without the required notice.
According to online postings and interviews with Reuters, more than 20 people – identifying themselves as Tesla employees – said they were laid off, let go, or had positions terminated this month only.
Tesla Inc. did not respond to requests to comment both on the lawsuit and on the layoff number.
However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, played down the lawsuit as trivial calling it pre-emptive and pointing out that it has no standing. He said earlier this month that Tesla needed to cut staff by about 10 percent, stressing he has a super bad feeling about the economy.