Judge rules Tesla sexual harassment charge can go to court – businesstraverse.com

A California court on Monday ruled that a sexual harassment lawsuit against Tesla can continue in court, rejecting the automaker’s request for closed-door arbitration, Bloomberg said.

That means Tesla will have to defend itself in public court against claims that female employees will face “rampant sexual harassment” at its Fremont, California plant. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stephen Kaus denied the automaker’s request in a one-sentence statement without explanation, even though the class-action plaintiff signed an arbitration agreement waiving her right to sue.

“The motion to enforce arbitration filed by Tesla, Inc. on 2/16/22 has been dismissed,” is all Kaus wrote.

Tesla is also facing harassment charges filed since late last year by at least six other female employees, alleging they had been subjected to discrimination, catcalling, unwelcome advances and physical contact at work.

Jessica Barraza, the plaintiff in Barraza v. Tesla, 21-cv-2714, Superior Court of California, Alameda County (Oakland), alleges that supervisors took no action after she reported working under “nightmare” conditions as a night shift, with co-workers and supervisors repeatedly making lewd comments and gestures at her.

The complaint, filed in November in the Alameda County Superior Court, read: “The ubiquitous culture of sexual harassment, including a daily barrage of sexist language and behavior, including frequent groping on the factory floor, is well known to supervisors and managers. and is often committed by them.”

Meanwhile, Tesla has also faced a series of lawsuits for alleged racial discrimination at its Fremont factory. In February, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against the automaker in state court alleging it received “hundreds of complaints from employees” and finding evidence that the California plant is a “segregated workplace where black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discrimination in job allocation, discipline, pay and promotion, creating a hostile work environment.”

CEO Elon Musk has spoken out about his complaints against the state, moving Tesla’s headquarters from Fremont to Austin, Texas last year after filing a lawsuit against Alameda County over COVID restrictions that forced the automaker to close its Fremont factory. to close.

“Honestly, this is the last straw,” Musk tweeted. “Tesla will now immediately move its headquarters and future programs to Texas/Nevada. If we even keep Fremont’s manufacturing activity, that will depend on how Tesla is treated going forward. Tesla is the last automaker in CA.”