Tesla hit with second sexual harassment lawsuit in a month, worker alleges her manager massaged her and said he 'is big down there'

·2 min read
Tesla
Associated Press
  • A worker filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation at Tesla's Fremont factory.

  • It's the second lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against the company from a female worker in less than 30 days.

  • Tesla and Elon Musk did not respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit.

A Tesla employee filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the electric-carmaker of retaliation and failing to prevent "a pattern of continuous and pervasive" sexual harassment at its Fremont factory.

Erica Cloud, who has worked as an assembly line worker at the Tesla factory, filed a lawsuit in California's Alameda County Superior Court. The lawsuit accuses Tesla and other defendants, including Cloud's former manager, of allowing the worker to be continually subjected to harassment and unwanted advances.

Tesla, the manager cited in the lawsuit, and CEO Elon Musk did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Cloud's lawsuit stated that she faced "sexual harassment on a near-daily basis" from her former manager. The lawsuit said the manager would "get on his knees and propose marriage," as well as "hug and massage" her, and that she rejected the advances on multiple occasions. In the spring of 2020, the manager told Cloud "on several occasions that she is 'blackenese' and he 'is big down there,' referring to his penis," according to the suit. The manager's actions were highly aggressive and caused her to "fear for her safety," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said that it took two to three months for Tesla's Human Resources department to address Cloud's complaints, after she reported the manager to the team. After Cloud stopped working with the manager, she said she was subjected to "a hostile work environment" as a result of reporting the alleged harassment. The lawsuit said that Cloud was sent home early or asked not to work on several occasions for "arbitrary reasons" and lost wages, bonuses, and benefits as a result.

Cloud and her lawyers say Tesla broke the law, specifically the Fair Employment and Housing Act, by failing to prevent the alleged sexual harassment and retaliating against Cloud after she reported the allegations. Attorneys are seeking compensation and damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees.

Cloud's case comes a few weeks after another worker alleged sexual harassment at the factory. In November, Jessica Barraza filed a lawsuit against Tesla that said the company operates like a "frat house." At the time, The Washington Post reported that three current and former Tesla workers at the Fremont factory said they had also witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at the site.

The month before, a court ordered Tesla to pay nearly $137 million after a federal court found an employee at the Fremont plant had been subjected to racial harassment. Tesla is in the process of challenging the verdict.

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