U.S. labor board NLRB alleges that Tesla illegally coerced employees in Florida by restricting them from discussing certain workplace issues.
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board’s Tampa division says that Tesla instructed employees to not discuss their pay with other persons and to not discuss another employee’s termination. The filing uncovered by Bloomberg through a Freedom of Information Act request also states that Tesla management told employees “not to complain to higher level managers” about working conditions.
All of the incidents are alleged to have happened at the car manufacturer’s Orlando office over the last year.
While Tesla and its attorneys have not yet provided public comment about the matter, this is not the first time it has been scrutinized by the National Labor Relations Board. Last year, members of the NLRB ruled that the car manufacturer had violated labor law on multiple occasions, including when it fired a union activist and via a threatening tweet published by Elon Musk. Tesla is currently appealing this ruling in federal court.
Complaints such as this one issued by NRLB regional directors are considered by agency judges and can be appealed to NRLB members in Washington and in federal court. While the agency usually can’t hold company executives liable for wrongdoing, it can order companies to reinstate fired workers and provide back pay when necessary.
A federal judge will hear arguments about the Florida complaint at a hearing in February.