Tesla Employee Sues For “Workplace Sexual Harassment,” Citing Company-Wide Negligence


Tesla Employee Sues For “Workplace Sexual Harassment,” Citing Company-Wide Negligence

Tesla was sued on Thursday by a female employee at its Fremont, California facility for sexual harassment. In the case, “nightmarish conditions” are described as part of the workplace ethos. Jessica Barraza, 38, is a married mother of two who works as a nightly assembly worker on the Model 3. According to the Washington Post, she had to take a medical leave after virtually daily harassment that included physical groping and catcalling. An incident in which a male employee put his leg between Barazza’s thighs was confirmed by another employee to the Post.

In a Yahoo Finance Live interview on Friday, Barraza’s lawyer, David Lowe, criticized Tesla and her motives with the lawsuit.

“The purpose is to put an end to the sexual harassment that is endemic at Tesla, that she experienced, and that other women have come forward to say they experienced,” Lowe said.

Barraza accuses Tesla of breaking anti-harassment, discrimination, and retaliation statutes by only transferring her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint, rather than confronting the matter and encouraging the harassing employees to quit.

“She just wasn’t prepared for the barrage of disgusting, obscene catcalls she received, as well as the groping until she couldn’t handle it any more,” Lowe said.

“Unauthorized touch from male personnel,” according to the lawsuit, includes “brushing their hand or crotch up against her backside” and “pulling her up by her body beneath her breasts.”

Barraza also says that a female coworker “touched the small of her back while remarking on her butt” and “used her hands to touch the small of her back while remarking on her butt.”

According to the lawsuit, one of the explicit statements made by a supervisor was referring to Barraza and other female coworkers as “b****es, to work beside a male coworker.”

The automaker “makes many workers to sign forced arbitration agreements, which mandate that disputes be resolved outside of court,” according to the Post.

“It has unfortunately become a widespread practice among major corporations to try to shove these issues into private arbitration to escape public accountability,” Lowe added.

“Our stance is that this was a purposeful attempt to enforce an illegal arrangement, and we’re not going to stand for it,” he said.


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