Tesla supervisors at a Florida service center violated federal labor law by barring employees from talking about pay and other working conditions and bringing complaints to higher level managers, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge has ruled.
In late 2021, employees at a repair shop in Orlando learned that new hires at the collision center were receiving a higher hourly wage than existing workers.
Several workers complained about the issue, and one technician reached out to a Tesla vice president. His complaint was then shared with Tesla’s head of human resources.
According to the ruling, supervisors at the service center called a meeting in which they told all 25 employees not to talk about their pay and other working conditions. Reportedly, they also said that employees should not file complaints with higher level managers. Weeks later, the technician who had complained was fired.
The technician filed a complaint against Tesla with the NLRB last year.
Tesla contended that, after learning about the managers’ instructions to employees in the meeting, it had quickly posted a notice in the service center making clear that workers were allowed to discuss their pay under Tesla policy.
But the decision by NLRB Administrative Law Judge Michael Rosas found that the managers illegally silenced the service center workers.
Rosas said that the managers’ attempt to quiet employees violated their right under federal labor law to band together to improve their working conditions.
The judge ordered Tesla to cease and desist from violating workers’ rights. Further, the judge said that Tesla must post notice of the violations in the service center and email the notice to employees.
The decision follows a string of other losses for Tesla before the NLRB.
In March, a federal appeals court upheld another NLRB ruling, which found that Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued an illegal threat to employees when he tweeted that unionizing would result in losing stock options.
Tesla is also currently appealing another NLRB decision that found that the company illegally stopped factory workers from wearing union shirts.