A former security guard at Faraday Future’s California headquarters claims she was sexually harassed and cyberstalked by one of the company’s IT administrators, according to details in a previously unreported lawsuit filed this summer. The plaintiff, Genesis Reyes, also claims the company dismissed multiple written and verbal reports about the alleged actions of its employee and named defendant, Josue Alejandro Sanchez, and says that she was fired after raising her complaints.
Reyes also argues in the suit that Faraday Future was more concerned with keeping its electric car efforts secret than it was with the safety of its employees. She claims the security cameras in the area where she worked were turned off because it was the same place that Faraday Future tested the prototypes of its car, the FF91. And on one occasion, she claims an employee lost control of one of the prototypes and “accelerated rapidly backwards” into another car, and that she was asked not to prepare an accident report.
Faraday Future and Reyes’ employer (G4S Secure Solutions) are also named as defendants in the suit, which was filed in June. The case is scheduled to go to trial in December 2018.
Reyes says she was harassed repeatedly over a period of three months, before she was fired
The original complaint filed by Reyes describes numerous allegations of harassment by Sanchez between February and April of 2017. Reyes worked in what’s described as a “single person” security booth at the plant, and she alleges that across those three months, Sanchez repeatedly approached her, often at night, and asked her for her personal information.
Reyes claims that, after she denied those requests, Sanchez “leered and stared at [her] in a sexual way,” that he entered the guard booth and brushed against her, and also blocked her from exiting. Reyes also claims that, on at least one occasion, Sanchez followed her to the bathroom and waited for her outside the door.
Despite allegedly denying him access to her personal information, Sanchez “located and stole” Reyes’ personal contact information anyway, including her work schedule, according to the complaint. Reyes claims he used that information to repeatedly send her text messages until she blocked his number.
On another occasion, Reyes claims Sanchez accessed her “private email and/or online accounts” and used that information to order a Lyft ride using a “confidential pseudonym known only to [Reyes],” which she believed to be a deliberate act of intimidation. Reyes also alleges that Sanchez located her car and would park near it, and one time even struck it before driving away from the scene.
Reyes brought written and verbal complaints about the alleged harassment on multiple occasions to her supervisors at G4S and Faraday Future, according to the lawsuit. She claims her supervisor at Faraday dismissed the alleged actions as a sign that “Sanchez simply had a ‘crush’” on her. She claims that superiors at both companies accused her of “inviting the harassment,” and that they blamed her for not closely guarding her personal information.
At Faraday Future, Reyes says she lodged these complaints with her shift leader, supervisor, HR representative, as well as the HR vice president, “numerous vice presidents,” and even Tony Nie, one of the company’s co-founders. She was given a written warning by G4S in April, and was fired in May, according to the lawsuit.
“The pain of sexual harassment doesn’t end when the comments and touching are over,” James Urbanic, who is representing Reyes, said in an email to The Verge. “What kind of message does a company send when it fires a woman who has mustered up the courage to complain? The time has come to expose common corporate policies of “zero tolerance” as empty promises. We are looking forward to exposing the real way Faraday and G4S does business.”
Sanchez is currently employed with Faraday Future, according to his LinkedIn account
Reached for comment about the case, a representative for Faraday Future said: “We will not comment on ongoing litigation.” When asked if Josue Sanchez is still employed by the company, The Verge was directed to the same statement. Sanchez lists himself as presently being employed by the company as a system administrator on his LinkedIn account. Representatives for Sanchez and G4S Secure Solutions did not respond in time for publish.
The Reyes lawsuit, which is reminiscent of recent harassment lawsuits at Tesla, is just one of many Faraday Future is currently faced with. In another previously unreported complaint filed on November 29th, the law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is suing the car company for allegedly failing to pay $162,881.53 in legal fees. Faraday Future had hired the firm to help negotiate placing the FF91 in an upcoming Transformers movie (something it reportedly paid $5 million for).
Faraday Future is also experiencing an exodus of talent as it struggles to replace the vanishing financial support from its main backer, which has stalled manufacturing of the FF91. The company’s chief designer resigned last week, following the resignations of the CFO, CTO, supply chain VP, and VP of HR. Employees who worked directly on the development of the FF91 have left for other companies, and others recently stopped showing up for work.