Former Tesla employees are suing the electric carmaker for an alleged mass firing of workers without the advance notice required by law.
According to the lawsuit being brought by two ex-employees who were fired in June, more than 500 workers were laid off at the company’s gigafactory plant in Sparks, Nevada in the US.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, dismissed the lawsuit as “trivial,” telling an audience at the Qatar Economic Forum: “Let’s not read too much into a pre-emptive lawsuit that has no standing”.
Tesla shares dropped nearly 10 per cent earlier this month after Musk emailed staff saying the company would look to cut its workforce by 10 per cent.
Musk said he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy, telling the company to pause hiring worldwide.
The lawsuit filed on Monday June 20 alleges Tesla failed to follow federal laws on mass layoffs by failing to provide a 60-day notice under the 1988 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
The two plaintiffs are seeking class action status for all former employees in the US who were fired in May or June without advance notice.
“Tesla has simply notified the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately,” the complaint said.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests made by Reuters for comment about the lawsuit.
More than 20 people identifying themselves as Tesla employees said they were laid off, let go or had positions terminated this month, according to online postings and interviews with Reuters.
The action filed by John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield, who were fired on June 10 and June 15 respectively, seeks pay and benefits for the 60-day notification period.