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A U.S. labor board official found that Tesla Inc. supervisors at a Florida service center violated U.S. labor law by telling employees not to discuss pay and other working conditions or bring complaints to higher-level managers.
A decision issued in this matter by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge Michael Rosas found that managers at the Orlando repair shop illegally silenced workers in 2021 after some of them complained that new hires were being paid more.
The judge ordered the automaker to cease and desist from violating workers’ rights and also to post notice of the violations in the service center and email it to employees. Tesla is facing a number of race and sex discrimination lawsuits at its assembly plants. Not surprisingly, Tesla is denying those charges.
According to the decision, several employees became aware in late 2021 of new hires getting a higher hourly wage compared to existing employees. Several workers complained to higher-ups, including a technician who reached out to a Tesla vice president, leading the complaint to be forwarded to the company’s head of human resources.
Supervisors at one of the service centers held a meeting, instructing 25 employees not to discuss their pay and other working conditions. They were also stopped from filing complaints with higher-level managers, Rosas said. Later on, the technician who had complained was fired, according to the decision.
The judge said that attempting to silence employees violated their fundamental right under U.S. labor law to band together to advocate for better working conditions.
The decision came about a month after a U.S. appeals court upheld an NLRB ruling ascertaining that Tesla CEO Elon Musk broke the law by tweeting that employees would lose stock options if they joined a union. Tesla is also appealing an NLRB decision against banning union t-shirts from the factory.
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