San Francisco: A US judge has denied Tesla’s motion for arbitration in a sexual harassment case, directing that the lawsuit accusing Elon Musk-run electric car company fostering a workplace with “rampant” sexual harassment will continue.
Tesla now must defend itself in court against claims that female employees face “rampant sexual harassment” at its Fremont, California-based factory, reports The Verge.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stephen Kaus in California late on Monday denied Tesla’s request for arbitration.
Tesla employee Jessica Barraza filed the lawsuit last year, claiming she was “subjected to catcalling, lewd comments, and inappropriate touching while working as a production associate at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory.”
After her, at least six more woman came forward and filed separate lawsuits against electric car-maker for rampant sexually harassment, as Musk was accused of tweeting “lewd comment about women’s bodies or a taunt toward employees who report misconduct”.
The women alleged that they’re subject to a culture of sexual harassment at the workplace.
Musk last week announced to open a litigation department at Tesla to initiate and execute lawsuits.
In a tweet, Musk said: “Tesla is building a hardcore litigation department where we directly initiate & execute lawsuits. The team will report directly to me.”
Musk also refuted a media report that claimed SpaceX paid a female worker $250,000 to hush up sexual misconduct charges against its CEO, saying the report is meant to “interfere with” the $44 billion Twitter acquisition.