The US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has accused Tesla of violating national labor law by allegedly telling its employees in Florida not to discuss pay or working conditions. The NLRB has filed a complaint alleging that the company, led by CEO Elon Musk, also instructed employees not to discuss the hiring, suspension, or termination of other employees. These incidents allegedly took place between December 2021 and January 2022.
The NLRB, which is an independent federal agency that protects the rights of private sector employees to engage in collective bargaining and other protected activities, announced the filing of the complaint on Monday. According to the complaint, Tesla management told employees that they were not allowed to discuss pay or working conditions with their coworkers. In addition, the company allegedly told employees that they could not discuss the hiring, suspension, or termination of other employees.
The NLRB alleges that these actions by Tesla management violated the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees the right of employees to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. The Act also prohibits employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act.
In a statement, NLRB regional director John Raudabaugh said: “It is a fundamental right of employees to be able to discuss pay and working conditions freely and without fear of retaliation. The National Labor Relations Act protects this right, and the NLRB will take all necessary steps to ensure that Tesla respects the rights of its employees.”
The NLRB’s complaint will be heard by an administrative law judge, who will determine whether the allegations against Tesla are true and, if so, what remedial action is appropriate. If the judge finds that Tesla violated the National Labor Relations Act, the company could be ordered to cease and desist from its unlawful conduct and to take steps to remedy the harm caused to its employees.
This is not the first time that Tesla has been accused of violating labor laws. In 2017, the NLRB filed a complaint against the company alleging that it had interfered with, restrained, and coerced employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act. The case was eventually settled when Tesla agreed to post notices at its facilities explaining the rights of its employees under the Act.
In the past, Tesla has also faced criticism for its treatment of workers at its factory in Fremont, California. In 2018, a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that Tesla had underreported workplace injuries and created a culture of fear among employees who were afraid to report injuries or speak out about unsafe working conditions.
It is not clear how the current case against Tesla will be resolved, but it is clear that the NLRB is taking the allegations seriously and will take all necessary steps to ensure that the rights of Tesla’s employees are protected.