A complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has alleged that Tesla has violated federal labor laws by preventing Florida employees from discussing matters such as pay and working conditions with their co-workers.
This indictment, dated Sept. 1 and signed by the Tampa regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, alleges that Tesla violated the law by telling its employees that they shouldn’t discuss pay with others or terminate other employees at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.
There is also evidence that Tesla management repeated instructed employees to not complain about working conditions to higher-level executives according to the document obtained by the U.S. media through the Freedom of Information Act.
During the past year, there have been a number of incidents reported at Tesla’s Orlando office, according to the indictment. Attempts to reach Tesla and its lawyers for comment were not immediately returned.
There is no timetable for hearings on the Florida complaint at a hearing scheduled for February, according to NLRB spokeswoman Kayla Blado in an email. An administrative law judge will be notified if the parties are not able to reach a settlement before the charges are filed.
NLRB district directors are entitled to file complaints with the agency, and those complaints may be considered by agency judges, and grievances may be appealed to the NLRB in Washington, and finally to a federal court. In most cases, the agency has the power to order the company to reinstate terminated employees with back pay, but it cannot hold executives personally liable for alleged misconduct or award punitive damages on their behalf.
In the past, Tesla has had clashes with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). the NLRB ruled last year that Tesla had repeatedly violated labor laws, including firing a United Workers activist. Also, the Tesla board asked Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, to delete a tweet he posted in which he allegedly threatened labor unions.
Earlier this year, a federal judge reduced a jury’s damage award in a case against Tesla alleging racial discrimination to $15 million from $137 million.