Skip to main content

Six more women file lawsuits against Tesla, allege sexual harassment worsened by Musk’s tweets

Six more women file lawsuits against Tesla, allege sexual harassment worsened by Musk’s tweets

/

The women claim that they reported the issue to HR, but nothing was done

Share this story

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Six more women who work at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory and service center have filed lawsuits against the company, according to a report from The Washington Post. Each woman has filed a separate lawsuit in the California Superior Court in Alameda County, alleging that they’re subject to a culture of sexual harassment at the workplace. These new lawsuits come not even a month after two other women filed suit against the company with similar allegations.

One woman claims she told HR about the issue but was only moved to a different work area

The six women claim that their male coworkers frequently make lewd comments towards their bodies or clothes, as well as engage in abusive behavior like catcalling and inappropriate touching. Some women even went so far as to wear baggy clothing to conceal their bodies — one woman, Jessica Brooks, says she tied a flannel shirt around her waist to hide her backside in an attempt to escape harassment. She even barricaded herself in her workplace with boxes.

Brooks told The Post that she let human resources know about the issue but says she was only moved to a different work area. Other women who called attention to the behavior claim that they faced the same response that Brooks got; they allege the behavior wasn’t addressed, and they were simply moved to another location in the factory. The Post also notes that some women didn’t feel confident speaking to HR about the issue, as they claim that their managers also partook in the abusive behavior.

Another woman, Eden Mederos, told The Post that “everything got worse” once the Model Y was announced, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “S3XY,” an acronym referencing the Model S, 3, X, and Y. Musk is also frequently observed tweeting out jokes mentioning “69” or “420” and other childish content, which Mederos told The Post “caused the technicians to be even worse.”

Just as reports of these lawsuits unfolded, Elon was in the midst of sending out snarky replies to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who posted a tweet stating, “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year [Musk] will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.” Musk immediately replied with a tweet containing a 2019 Fox News article titled, “Elizabeth Warren is a fraud — Her lies about being Native American disqualify her from presidency.” He called her “Senator Karen” in another reply, referring to the trope of a petty, obnoxious, and entitled white woman.

These six additional lawsuits come just after Jessica Barraza, who also works in Tesla’s Fremont factory, sued the electric car company for “rampant sexual harassment.” Like many of the other women suing Tesla, she also claims that she was subject to catcalling, physical touching, and inappropriate comments. And just days ago, another woman, Erica Cloud, sued Tesla for sexual harassment and retaliation, with her claims echoing many of the ones mentioned here. It doesn’t stop there — Tesla was ordered to pay $137 million after a Black employee claimed that he experienced racism and discrimination at the California plant. A class-action lawsuit has also been proposed, alleging a racist work culture.

“Elon Musk tweeting a lewd comment about women’s bodies or a taunt toward employees who report misconduct reflects an attitude at the top that enables the pattern of pervasive sexual harassment and retaliation at the heart of these cases,” says attorney David A. Lowe, partner at Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe, who is representing the six women.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.