Fired manager slams Elon Musk: Tesla’s US showrooms are unsafe to operate

A former Tesla Inc. The regional service manager claims Elon Musk’s electric-car company was too cheap to install air conditioning in the bay of one of his service shops to protect technicians during heat waves — and he was ultimately fired over his complaints. .

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (AP)
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (AP)

Benjamin Simon reported unsafe working conditions with heat “reaching dangerous temperatures” on the Tesla shop floor in Peabody, Massachusetts, several times in 2021 and urged management to install air conditioning, a lawsuit filed in Boston federal court on Thursday said. As per the complaint it was transferred. State Court.

Tesla denied any wrongdoing in the case.

According to the complaint, Simon claims he kept increasing the requests, even after his managers told him that Tesla’s finance department would not approve spending more than $100,000 for just one location to get air conditioning.

“The dangerously hot conditions have not improved,” Kathleen Davidson, the former manager’s attorney, wrote in the complaint. “Tesla Ignores Simon’s Safety Complaints”.

Instead, Simon claims the previously friendly boss turned cold towards him and within weeks, he had lost three of the eight dealerships he oversees. A month later, Simon said, he was fired in retaliation for pushing the AC issue, which he says Tesla fabricated to include the company’s use of the vehicle.

Simon alleges he was wrongfully terminated and wants the jury to award him compensation for lost wages, lost benefits and stock options, as well as emotional distress.

“Tesla submits that the plaintiffs are not entitled to any relief whatsoever,” Anthony Califano, a lawyer for the carmaker, said in a petition to transfer the lawsuit to federal court. They said the case belongs there because Simon is seeking between $2.7 million and $10 million in damages, which is well above the threshold required to move claims out of state to state court. party is included.

Neither California nor another Tesla attorney, Nicole Chomik, responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit outside regular business hours.

The case is Simon v. Tesla, 23-cv-10583, US District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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