Tesla broke labor laws by telling workers not to discuss pay, NLRB claims

Tesla broke labor laws by telling workers not to discuss pay, NLRB claims

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The NLRB alleges Tesla told employees at its Orlando, Florida location not to talk about pay with other employees or to complain to managers about working conditions.

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Tesla’s accused of violating national labor laws by allegedly telling employees at its Orlando, Florida location not to talk about pay and working conditions, as first reported by Bloomberg. In a complaint filed in September, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) regional director in Tampa claims Telsa “told employees not to complain to higher level managers about their pay or other conditions of employment” and said “not to discuss their pay with other persons.”

The complaint goes on to accuse Tesla of instructing employees not to discuss the hiring, suspension, or termination of employees with others. These incidents occurred from December 2021 to January 2022, the complaint alleges, and violates laws that prevent companies from “interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed” by the NLRB Act. In a statement to Bloomberg, NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado says a judge will hear the arguments laid out by the complaint during a February hearing.

The NLRB has waged numerous complaints against Tesla in the past. In August, the NLRB ruled that Tesla’s dress code policy is unlawful for banning clothing with union logos. The agency also forced CEO Elon Musk to delete an anti-union tweet in 2021 (which still remains online while Tesla appeals the decision) and ruled that its firing of union activist Richard Ortiz was illegal at the same time. Additionally, two California-based Tesla employees filed complaints with the NLRB earlier this month over claims the company illegally fired them for criticizing Musk.

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Emma Roth

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