In the wake of Jessica Barraza’s lawsuit last month, six more current and former female employees have come forward to accuse Tesla of fostering a culture of rampant sexual harassment at its Fremont factory in California. In separate complaints filed on Tuesday with the Superior Court in Alameda County, the women said they were consistently subjected to catcalling, unwanted advances, physical contact and discrimination while at work.
Jessica Brooks, one of the women who sued Tesla, alleges she was harassed on her first day of orientation at the automaker. She claims a supervisor told his male subordinates to “check out the new girl.” Brooks says the harassment was so constant she eventually stacked boxes around her workstation to deter her coworkers from whistling at her. Brooks also claims she complained of the situation to Tesla’s HR department. The company allegedly responded by moving Brooks to a different part of the factory instead of addressing the situation directly.
“I was so tired of the unwanted attention and the males gawking at me I proceeded to create barriers around me just so I could get some relief,” Brooks told The Washington Post. “That was something I felt necessary just so I can do my job.”
When Jessica Barraza sued Tesla last month, she said she was subjected to “nightmarish” working conditions at the company’s Fremont plant. Barraza’s lawsuit described a factory floor that looked more like “a crude, archaic construction site or frat house” than the site of one of the most advanced EV makers in the country. Most of the seven women who have sued Tesla have linked the abuse they experienced to the behavior of CEO Elon Musk. “He would make 69 or 420 jokes … which caused the technicians to be even worse,” said one of the complaints.
The suit comes on the same day five former SpaceX employees accused Musk’s other company of doing little to stop sexual harassment. We’ve reached out to Tesla for comment. The automaker does not operate a public relations department. When a federal court recently ordered Tesla to pay $137 million to a Black worker who said they were subjected to daily racist abuse at the company’s Fremont factory, the company said: “We continue to grow and improve in how we address employee concerns. Occasionally, we’ll get it wrong, and when that happens we should be held accountable.”
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