A former Tesla employee has filed a sexual-harassment and sexual-exploitation lawsuit against the company, stating that she was ignored or mocked when she complained of sexualized behavior by bosses.
The incident took place in the garage area of Tesla’s San Francisco headquarters in July 2018, and the contractor then working at the company began alleging sexual harassment with the help of a lawyer, according to a complaint filed in August in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California.
The complaint, which was obtained by NBC News, says that manager Erivia Torres placed a phone up to the upper waist of another woman and told her: “Don’t pay attention to that man, you’re just a dumb bitch” and told a third woman to “just sit there and wait” before the incident occurred.
Torres also “stayed in her trailer from 8 to 10 hours at a time with no work,” the complaint says.
The complaint says that the incidents involving the other women happened in the garage of the Tesla headquarters. All three women say they did not report the allegations at the time of the incidents to superiors because they were afraid of retaliation.
Tesla responded by calling the claims false and a part of “a coordinated scheme to attack Tesla’s business.” In a statement, the company said: “We are in the process of reviewing this complaint and are confident that we have a good working relationship with all our contractors who work directly with us. Our top priority is making sure our employees are treated fairly and with respect at work, and we will work to ensure these claims are immediately addressed.”
Attorney Olga Powell is representing the accuser, who is not identified.