Is Elon Musk running ‘sweatshops’? Former manager claims Tesla refused to install AC for workers

A former Tesla Inc employee has made shocking revelations about the working conditions at Elon Musk’s electric car company. Benjamen Simon, a former regional service manager, has alleged that even amid a heatwave as temperatures reached “dangerous” levels, the billionaire was “too cheap” to install air conditioning. He further claimed that he was fired for complaining about the perilous working conditions.

Simon claims to have reported the unsafe working conditions several times. The former Tesla employee, as per a complaint filed with the Boston federal court, claims that he urged the management to install air conditioning and that he kept escalating the requests. 

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The management, however, allegedly told him that Tesla’s finance department wouldn’t approve spending “well over $100,000 for just one location to get air conditioning.”

As per the complaint, “Tesla disregarded Simon’s safety complaints,” and the “dangerous heat situation did not improve.”

Instead, Simon was penalised for his complaints. Bloomberg reports that the manager was stripped of three of the eight dealerships under his supervision. After he kept pushing for the ACs, he was eventually “fired in retaliation,” the pretext “Tesla concocted involving his use of a company vehicle.”

Simon has alleged wrongful termination and is asking the jury to award lost wages, lost benefits and stock options. He is also seeking compensation for emotional distress.

Tesla has denied all wrongdoing. The EV company’s attorney in a previous petition seeking the case’ transfer from state to the federal court said: “Tesla maintains that plaintiff is not entitled to any relief whatsoever.”

(With inputs from agencies)


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