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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Tesla subjected women to ‘massive sexual assault’ at Fremont plant, suit says

by Katia Porzecanski | bloomberg

Tesla Inc.’s female employees face “massive sexual harassment,” according to a lawsuit from a woman who works at the electric car maker’s Fremont, Calif., factory.

Jessica Baraza, 38, said in a complaint filed Thursday in state court in Oakland that she experienced “nightmare” conditions as a night shift worker at Tesla, with coworkers and supervisors calling her and other women several Sometimes made rude comments and gestures. one week. When she complained to supervisors and human resources, they failed to act, Barraza says.

She is suffering from panic attacks as a result of such behavior for three years and is “afraid to learn that her body may be violated at any time,” the complaint said. “She’s on medication and in therapy, and she’s not the same person she used to be.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Barraza’s lawsuit was first reported by The Washington Post.

The case comes as Tesla is already facing a staggering $137 million ruling in favor of another worker who said he experienced widespread racism at the Fremont factory. Tesla is now appealing that award.

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A juror in that case told Bloomberg News that the panel expected Tesla executives to “take the most basic preventive measures and precautions a large corporation neglected to take to protect any employee within its factory.” “

Tesla has been accused of discrimination at its Fremont plant for years, but most employees are bound by arbitration agreements that keep most complaints confidential.

In 2020, 31 complaints were filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging discrimination based on race, age, gender expression, disability and pregnancy, according to data obtained from public records. In the vast majority of cases the state agency issued a prosecuting authority; A handful were turned down with insufficient evidence.

The case is Barrazza v. Tesla, 21-CV-2714, Superior Court of California, Alameda County.

More news like this is available on Bloomberg.com

©2011 Bloomberg LP

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