Tesla told employees not to complain to managers about pay, labor director says

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Inc. broke the law when the company told employees in a Florida office not to complain to superiors about compensation or discuss things like employment, an executive has alleged in a lawsuit filed by the American Labor Council.

The complaint, dated Sept. 2 and signed by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Tampa, alleged that Tesla TSLA,
late last year and early this year, he told employees at an Orlando office “not to discuss” their pay or the hiring of other employees with others, and told them “not to complain to senior staff about their wages or other conditions of employment.”

Bloomberg reported the news earlier today, after receiving the filing through a Freedom of Information Act request. Tesla was not immediately available for comment.

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Kayla Blado, a labor board representative, said in an email that a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Tampa. She said a complaint is not a decision made by the council. Rather, he stated that a regional office has found merit to the charges and will pursue the charges before an administrative law judge if the parties do not settle.

Tesla has previously had access to the labor board. Last year, the board ordered the company to bring back one employee in 2017 and ordered CEO Elon Musk to remove a tweet that discouraged the formation of a union.

Earlier this year, a federal judge lowered a $137 million jury award in damages in a race discrimination lawsuit against Tesla to $15 million.

Tesla shares ended Friday up 1.1%. The stock had its worst year this year as Wall Street grew increasingly concerned about Musk’s concerns over social media platform Twitter, which he bought in October. Shares fell 65% on the year as the S&P 500 SPX index,
a decrease of 19.4 per cent.

Read more: Tesla is not alone – 20 (and a half) other major stocks had their worst year ever

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