Tesla Overworks Employees And Doesn’t Allow Breaks, Lawsuit Says

tesla wage and hour class action lawsuit

The Wage And Hour Class Action Lawsuit Seeks More Than $5M In Damages On Behalf Of Tesla Workers In Fremont, California.

Electric vehicle giant Tesla is facing a major problem it can’t fix with an update: allegations it overworks employees, doesn’t pay them appropriately, and doesn’t allow breaks at its warehouses in Fremont, California.

A new lawsuit, adding to the slate of others the company is facing, accuses the tech giant of violating a slew of the state’s wage laws, amounting to subpar conditions for its factory and warehouse workers, Reuters reports.

Accusations of improper pay

The proposed class action lawsuit was filed by Tesla material handler Shannon Brown and production associate Tami Okada, according Quartz, who both worked at warehouses in Fremont, California in 2022 and 2023. 

According to the lawsuit, they both often worked more than eight hour days and more than 40 hour weeks and didn’t get meal or rest breaks. Tesla also didn’t provide proper overtime, sick pay, or vacation, the pair allege. 

The lawsuit says the company’s actions amount to violations of various California labor laws, and should result in more than $5 million in damages to the thousands of workers affected by said violations. 

California law protects workers

California has a range of robust labor and employment laws designed to protect workers. While there are also federal laws designed to do the same, the state is regarded as being more comprehensive in its legislation and able to provide better safeguards for workers. 

Some key employment law protections include:

  • Minimum wage of $16 an hour
  • Overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours
  • Meal and rest breaks
  • Anti-discrimination laws
  • Family and medical leave
  • Workers' compensation
  • Paid sick leave

Tesla faces other legal action

The labor law allegations aren’t the only legal challenges Tesla is currently facing in court. Also at its Fremont plant and other California locations, workers have made accusations of rampant racism and harassment of Black workers and filed suit, Reuters reports

A civil rights agency in the state, along with 6,000 workers, has filed a separate class action lawsuit alleging similar patterns of racial discrimination that a judge recently ruled can proceed.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is facing legal action over a Tweet he posted in 2018 that said employees in New York would lose stock options if they voted to unionize, allegedly violating workers labor rights.

The plaintiffs are represented by Justin Hewgill of Hewgill Cobb & Lockard APC and Ben Travis of Ben Travis Law APC.

The Tesla wage and hour class action lawsuit is Brown et al v. Tesla Inc., Case No. 2:24-at-00418, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

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