Tesla is being sued by two former employees of the Sparks, Nevada gigafactory over mass layoffs, Reuters has reported. They allege that more than 500 factory workers were fired without the required 60 days notice, in violation of federal laws. “Tesla simply informed employees that their termination would be effective immediately,” the complaint reads. They are seeking class action status on behalf of all US Tesla employees fired in May or June without notice.
The US WARN Act requires companies to give 60 days notice of mass layoffs under certain circumstances. The idea is to give employees enough time to look for other work or to retrain. One of the employees who filed the charges, John Lynch, said he was notified on June 10 that he had been fired with immediate effect.
“Tesla started firing people in blatant disregard for the WARN law,” attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan (who represents the workers), told Bloomberg — adding that Tesla was offering just a week of severance pay to some employees. She is preparing an emergency motion to prevent Tesla from trying to free employees in exchange for a week of severance pay.
Thousands of Tesla employees have reportedly been laid off in the US, and many have suffered “devastating economic consequences,” according to the lawsuit. Earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk told Tesla executives in an email that he plans to cut about 10 percent of the jobs, according to Reuters, and said he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy.
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