The tech industry has had its fair share of sexual harassment claims. As a male dominated industry, women are the minority in the tech field. Unfortunately, many face discrimination and harassment. Most recently, Tesla, the manufacturer of self-driving electric vehicles, is dealing with its own sexual harassment scandal. A former Tesla employee has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming she was the victim of sexual harassment and wage discrimination. The employee was ultimately fired by the company. She claims the firing was in retaliation for her outspokenness.
Employee Speaks Out
The former Tesla employee claims her pleas to Human Resources were ignored and her subsequent firing was due to the company’s culture of gender discrimination and harassment.
The employee has been through a major battle with Tesla as she and the company have exchanged words with each other via the media. The employee gave an interview to a widely published newspaper to which Tesla quickly fired back with a statement. In the interview, the woman maintained that after her promotion to a managerial position, she was undermined by her male colleagues.
In response to the situation, Tesla hosted a town hall-style meeting where employees could talk about the issues they face regarding harassment at the workplace. The meeting attracted at least 100 workers with executives and HR representatives present.
At the townhall meeting, other women came forward to detail their issues with the manufacturer. One of the workers called the work floor a “predator zone”, which elicited a strong reaction from executives. The next day, the company sent out an email promising to change the workplace culture and help women who have been harassed seek solace.
The female employee who originated the claims against Tesla was present at the town hall meeting. However, she was fired a few days later by a woman the company hired to be the Chief of People in the HR department.
Company CEO Responds
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent out an email a few days later that had rather concerning undertones regarding the former worker. She was never called out by name, but Musk did say that members of a less represented group should not be “jerks”. After learning of the email, the woman says she took personal offense to the statement.
When Workplace Disputes Become Fodder for the Public
This public “war of words” between employee and employer may seem unusual, but it is a consequence of workplace harassment coming to the forefront. Employees who decide to talk to the media may be swept up in a battle of he-said she-said with their former employer and dragged into the court of public opinion.
This puts employees in a precarious position and may deter other employees from speaking out. Sexual harassment can cause a victim to suffer shame and embarrassment. Unfortunately, many suffer in silence due to the way they see their company handle similar complaints.
South Jersey Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Help Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. is a South Jersey discrimination law firm dedicated to helping victims of sexual harassment in the workplace seek justice. Our experienced sexual harassment lawyers work with clients throughout South Jersey, including those in Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cumberland County, and Salem County. We also serve clients in Pennsylvania. Call us today at 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation or complete our online contact form.