Tesla subjects female workers to “terrifying” conditions of unbridled sexual harassment at its main plant, and supervisors turn their backs when complaints are filed, according to a new process.
Jessica Barraza, 38, said she had endured hissing and inappropriate ringing “almost daily” in her three years at the factory in Fremont, Calif., where she works night shifts in the production area.
Barraza said the last straw came on Sept. 28, when a man walked up behind her and put his leg between her thighs when she arrived from lunch break.
“Oh, too bad,” he said, laughing, after she escaped, according to the complaint in a California state court in Alameda County.
The victim said that Tesla’s human resources department did not respond to complaints she filed in September and October and even disabled the company email address she received complaints from.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment this Friday.
On Oct. 4, a federal jury in San Francisco ordered Tesla to pay $136.9 million ($760.9 million at current rates) to Owen Diaz, a former black elevator operator who faced racial harassment. On November 16, the company reversed the sentence, stating that it “abominates and condemns” all racial slurs and that, even if it should have done better to eradicate racism, the most Diaz deserved was US$600,000 (BRL 3 ,3 millions).
Barraza is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
She also said that, like many “technology employers”, Tesla requires many workers to sign arbitrary agreements, keeping workplace disputes out of court, but that the “unscrupulous” terms of its agreement make it unworkable.
Barraza said he is on leave on medical advice, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.