More women sue Tesla for harassment
Six more current and former Tesla employees have sued the car manufacturer over alleged sexual harrassment in workplace. The women say the company ignored their complaints against co-workers and superiors.
The separate lawsuits were filed in Alameda County Superior Court on Tuesday, an attorney who filed them on behalf of all the six plaintiffs has said. His clients were “catcalled, ogled, touched inappropriately, and propositioned” while working for Tesla, lawyer David A. Lowe said. Five of the women worked at the company’s factory in Fremont, California, while the sixth one was employed in several service centers in Southern California.
One of the plaintiffs said her supervisor told her to “shake ass” for him and suggested she should become an exotic dancer. Another one said a colleague called her a “cow”, referring to her lactating after giving birth to a baby shortly before getting her job.
“I was so tired of the unwanted attention and the males gawking at me, I proceeded to create barriers around me just so I could get some relief,” Jessica Brooks, one of the claimants, told The Washington Post. “That was something I felt necessary just so I [could] do my job.”
Last month, former Tesla employee Jessica Barraza sued the company over “rampant sexual harassment” at the Fremont factory, which she described as not unlike a “frat-house”. According to The Hill, the new lawsuits were encouraged by the example that Barraza set.
“Jessica’s story gave her colleagues the courage to come forward,” one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys told the news website.
Many of the women complaining about their experiences in Tesla said the company failed to properly respond to their complaints and drew a direct link to the attitude of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The billionaire, who was named TIME person of the year this week, is known for his risky jokes, like when he proposed creating a “Texas Institute of Technology & Science”, abbreviated “TITS”. Similar concerns of toxic culture were raised over Musk’s other ventures, like rocket producer SpaceX.