Business is building up around Tesla. Six women working for the automaker in California filed a complaint Tuesday, December 14, against the company, accusing it of having tolerated sexual harassment.
“The six women describe an environment in which it is normal [qu’elles] are hissed, [qu’elles soient] eyed, touched inappropriately and being the subject of advances ”, explains a press release from the lawyers representing them, David Lowe and William Jhaveri-Weeks.
“Those who complained were sometimes threatened or transferred against their will”, he added. “The message was clear, there would be no consequences for the stalkers” within the group led by Elon Musk, named Monday personality of the year by the American magazine Time.
A first complaint accusing the company of having allowed an atmosphere conducive to sexual harassment against women to settle in the Fremont factory, and of having done nothing despite the protests, had been filed in mid-November . Another woman sued the company and its immediate supervisor last week for sexual harassment. “So many similar experiences show that this is a systemic problem at Tesla”, a affirmé William Jhaveri-Weeks.
Recurring problems also at SpaceX
Of the six women who filed a complaint on Tuesday, five work or have worked at the Fremont plant and the sixth in service centers in southern California. One of them, Michala Curran, describes how she had to cope from her first weeks at the Fremont plant with repeated lustful comments about her physique, including from her boss. One of his co-workers asked him to masturbate in the factory parking lot, bringing up the fact that sex was common there. She resigned after two months and claims to have observed the same kind of harassment against other female colleagues.
In another area, Tesla was recently ordered to pay a black ex-employee $ 137 million in damages (around 118 million euros) for turning a blind eye to the racism suffered by the man in one of the its factories.
According to a former employee of another company run by Elon Musk, SpaceX, the problem is also recurring there. In a text published Tuesday on the Lioness site, she describes a company “So plagued by sexism that the only solution for women is to leave” and gives several examples of touching, forced hugs or improper advances. Warned each time, human resources did nothing, she says.