Former Tesla employees have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer, claiming that the company's decision to conduct a "mass layoff" violated federal law since the job cuts were not announced in advance.
For nearly five years, the two former Tesla employees, John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield, worked in Giga Nevada. On Sunday, they filed a federal lawsuit against Tesla in Austin, Texas.
Tesla, according to Lynch and Hartsfield, did not provide them with advance notice of their termination. Lynch stated that he received his termination notice on June 10, while Hartsfield received it on June 15. Their dismissals were both "effective immediately."
When the notice is issued, the employer is required by WARN to notify each employee representative or the employees directly. A written notice of a mass layoff must also be sent to the State or an entity assigned by the State to carry out quick reaction activities. The chief elected official of the local government unit where the mass layoff is to occur must also be notified.
Lynch and Hartsfield are suing Tesla on behalf of other employees who were laid off in May and June. The plaintiffs seek compensation and benefits for the 60 days following their termination notice, as well as attorney fees and costs.
"Tesla simply informed the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately," according to the complaint.
Tesla, which has not made a comment on the number of layoffs, did not respond immediately to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
According to an email obtained by Reuters, Musk, the world's richest person, stated earlier this month that he had a "super bad feeling" about the economy and that Tesla decided to cut staff by about 10%.
According to online postings and interviews with Reuters, more than 20 Tesla employees said they were laid off, let go, or had their positions terminated this month.
"It's pretty shocking that Tesla would just blatantly violate federal labor law by laying off so many workers without providing the required notice," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the workers.
She claims Tesla is only offering some employees one week of severance, and she is getting ready for an emergency motion with a court to prevent Tesla from attempting to obtain releases from employees in exchange for only one week of severance.