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Ex-Tesla Workers Sue Elon Musk Over Unlawful Termination

Two ex-Tesla employees filed a lawsuit on Sunday, claiming that the electric carmaker violated the federal laws by laying off many employees on short notice.

On June 2, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an internal email to executives saying he had a "super bad feeling" about the economy and saying the company had to terminate about 10 percent of its workforce, as per Reuters.

Over the next few days, two workers at Tesla's Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, say they were terminated, as per court documents. One of them John Lynch said he was notified of his immediate dismissal on June 10, while Daxton Hartsfield said he was informed on June 15 and terminated on the same day.

Lynch and Hartsfield, who filed the lawsuit, said at least 500 of their co-workers at the Nevada plant lost their jobs at around the same time, the document said.

As per court documents, the plaintiffs stated Tesla's actions violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires employers to notify workers at least 60 calendar days in advance before shutting down a plant or laying off 50 or more workers at the same site.

"Tesla has simply notified the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately. Tesla has also failed to provide a statement of the basis for reducing the notification period to zero days advance notice," the court document said.
Lynch and Hartsfield are looking to claim 60 days' worth of pay and benefits. They are also seeking class action status for the lawsuit for those who were terminated in May and June without sufficient notice.

According to Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based lawyer representing the workers, "We have filed a national class action challenging Tesla's illegal layoff without notice to workers. We will pursue the additional pay owed to employees through this class action, or individually if necessary."

Musk attempted to trivialize the suit on Tuesday, saying that it had "no standing."
"That is a small lawsuit that has no consequence," Musk said in a live video interview at the Qatar Economic Forum. There are about 100,000 Tusk employees globally at the end of 2021, according to a SEC filing.

Others who claim to be former Tesla workers also have spoken up about being laid off on soon after Musk's internal email about firing 10% of Tesla's workforce.

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