Tesla sued by ex-employees over ‘mass layoffs’

A picture of the Tesla logo in Los Angeles, California, US, January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

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June 20 (Reuters) – The former Tesla company (TSLA.O) Employees are suing the US electric car company, claiming that its decision to implement a “mass layoff” violated federal law because the company did not provide advance notice of job cuts.

The lawsuit was filed late Sunday in Texas by two workers who said they laid off work at Tesla’s giant factory in Sparks, Nevada, in June. According to the lawsuit, more than 500 employees of the Nevada plant have been terminated.

The workers allege the company failed to comply with federal laws on mass layoffs that require a 60-day notice period under the Workers Retraining Amendment and Notice Act, according to the lawsuit.

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They are seeking class-action status for all former Tesla employees across the US who were laid off in May or June without prior notice.

“Tesla simply notified employees that their termination will be effective immediately,” the complaint reads.

Tesla, which has not commented on the number of layoffs, did not immediately comment on requests for comment on the lawsuit.

Musk, the world’s richest person, said earlier this month that he had a “very bad feeling” about the economy and that Tesla needed to cut staff by about 10%, according to an email seen by Reuters. Read more

More than 20 people who identified themselves as Tesla employees said they had laid off, quit their jobs or had their jobs terminated this month, according to Reuters and online interviews. Read more

The lawsuit, filed by John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield, who were fired on June 10 and June 15 respectively, seeks wages and benefits for the 60-day notice period.

“It is absolutely appalling that Tesla is blatantly violating federal labor law by laying off so many workers without the required notice,” Shannon Lees Riordan, a lawyer representing the workers, told Reuters.

Tesla is only offering some employees one week of termination, she said, adding that she is preparing an emergency court order to try to prevent Tesla from trying to get employees released in exchange for just one week of termination.

The lawsuit was filed in US District Court, Western District of Texas.

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Additional reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Hyungu Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Boleyn

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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