According to a new report from The Guardian, Tesla is now facing another lawsuit. This time, a former employee at Tesla’s Fremont factory filed the lawsuit for wrongful termination, alleging that he was fired in retaliation after seeing protection from anti-gay harassment.
Jorge Ferro, the defendant, claims that he was taunted at work for being gay and was also threatened with violence. The paper gives us an example where one supervisor told him “watch your back,” after mocking his “gay tight” clothing. Ferro went to a HR representative, and was repeatedly moved to different assembly lines, but the harassment did not stop.
According to The Guardian, HR told him that there was “no place for handicapped people at Tesla” after noticing an old scar on his wrist. HR had sent him home, and was eventually terminated. Tesla has denied the allegations and defended itself against it.
“There is no company on earth with a better track record than Tesla,” a spokesperson said. Much like the previous lawsuit, Tesla is arguing that the defendants were employed by third-party contractors. To make sure the company’s own employees don’t take these claims public, the company’s full-time employees have to sign arbitration agreements that force them to settle harassment claims privately.
Tesla isn’t too happy about the media covering the lawsuits against the company, and attacked the media:
“Media reporting on claims of discrimination at Tesla should bear a few things in mind: First, as one of the most highly reported-on companies in the world, anyone who brings claims against Tesla is all but assured that they will garner significant media coverage. Second, in the history of Tesla, there has never been a single proven case of discrimination against the company. Not one. This fact is conveniently never mentioned in any reporting. Third, as we have said repeatedly, even though we are a company of 33,000 employees, including more than 10,000 in the Fremont factory alone, and it is not humanly possible to stop all bad conduct, we care deeply about these issues and take them extremely seriously. If there is ever a case where Tesla is at fault, we will take responsibility. On the other hand, Tesla will always fight back against unmeritorious claims. In this case, neither of the two people at the center of the claim, Mr. Ferro and the person who he alleges to have mistreated him, actually worked for Tesla. Both worked for a third-party. Nevertheless, Tesla still stepped in to try to keep these individuals apart from one another and to ensure a good working environment. Regardless of these facts, every lawyer knows that if they name Tesla as a defendant in their lawsuit, it maximizes the chances of generating publicity for their case. They abuse our name, because they know it is catnip for journalists. Tesla takes any and every form of discrimination or harassment extremely seriously. There is no company on Earth with a better track record than Tesla, as they would have to have fewer than zero cases where an independent judge or jury has found a genuine case of discrimination. This is physically impossible.”