Tesla recently fired a female engineer who sued the auto manufacturer for sexual harassment and gender discrimination last fall. In February, AJ Vandermeyden went public with her claims during an interview with The Guardian. Tesla recently terminated Vandermeyden after conducting an investigation into her allegations, and now the company could face a workplace retaliationlawsuit.
Vandermeyden’s discrimination lawsuit alleges that she experienced, “unwelcome and pervasive harassment by men on the factory floor including, but not limited to, inappropriate language, whistling, and catcalls.”
In addition to the sexual harassment claims, the suit alleges pay inequality and that other female Tesla employees were denied promotions despite being equally qualified. Vandermeyden went on to claim that she was personally paid less than her male counterparts whose work she took on. In addition to these allegations, the suit claims that the high-tech auto manufacturer failed to address any of these complaints, as well as other workplace violations.
Tesla Claims Vandermeyden’s Allegations Were False
After a thorough investigation was conducted with the help of a neutral third-party, Tesla says it found Vandermeyden’s complaints to be unmerited. In this statement attributed to a Tesla spokesperson, the company lays out how they reached the decision to terminate Vandermeyden from her role. The company also claims that Vandermeyden received “special treatment” and that she chose to “falsely” attack the company in the press.
Tesla Could Face a Retaliation Lawsuit
According to The Guardian, Vandermeyden’s attorney said that her termination is “clear retaliation” from Tesla, and that her termination is the company’s way of telling other employees that they will be fired if they speak out. Retaliation is unlawful in California, and in this case, Vandermeyden could make the claim that she was fired for asserting her employee rights under California law.
Tesla claims that Vandermeyden’s termination was not in retaliation of the lawsuit, but that her “false” accusations make it “impossible” to trust her, which is the company’s reasoning for firing her.
Read the original story via The Daily Dot
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