A judge ruled Friday that Tesla and his chief executive, Elon Musk, have violated federal labor law by focusing on trade union activities, the latest in a series of stabbing rebukes for the electronic vehicle company.
The violations include a 2018 tweet from Musk’s personal account that said nothing prevented employees from voting, “but why do union contributions and stock options give up for nothing? Our safety record is 2x better than when the plant was UAW and everyone is already receiving health care “
Tesla also introduced rules requiring authorization for the distribution of trade-union leaflets and other material, in addition to threatening the loss of stock options if the union took place. The company also told employees that it would be “pointless” to close a union because, according to the ruling, they would have no vote.
They formed “unfair labor practices” under the National Labor Relations Act, ruled administrative court judge Amita Baman Tracy.
It is not the first time that Musk has been in trouble for his tweets. Last year he ended up in a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission about a tweet from Musk in which he said he had “financing” to keep the company private. Musk was removed as chairman of the company’s board of directors, and he and the company each received a $ 20 million fine (roughly Rs. 141.35 crores) in a cost settlement. He is now also limited in what he can post on social media.
Federal safety regulators also accused Musk of issuing “misleading statements” about his company’s Tesla Model 3 last year, sending a truce letter after the president claimed it was safer than other vehicles.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s ruling.
According to the ruling, Tesla also has unfairly disciplined employees who, according to the ruling, were engaged in activities to promote a trade union. Tesla must offer a dismissed employee his job and remove disciplinary data for him and another employee who was warned about his union activity, according to the ruling, first reported by Bloomberg.
Tracy cited more than 10 actions by Tesla and Musk that violated the provisions of the Labor Relations Act and recommended remedies, including post-pay and redeployment for the dismissed employee, the repeal of rules aimed at trade union activity and a meeting at the Tesla factory in Fremont where the company must inform employees in detail about labor violations.
Musk must be present for such a meeting, the judge ruled.
Tesla is likely to appeal the decision that was brought in response to a lawsuit filed by affected employees and the United Auto Workers union.
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