Tesla ignored its employee AJ Vandermeyden’s claim of sexual harassment and has fired her. The Silicon Valley engineer went public with her discrimination lawsuit against the car company in February. She says she was catcalled and harassed by her male colleagues and that Tesla did not address her complaints.
AJ has said that Tesla has fired her because they concluded that ‘her complaints had no merit’.
“Despite repeatedly receiving special treatment at the expense of others, Ms Vandermeyden nonetheless chose to pursue a miscarriage of justice by suing Tesla and falsely attacking our company in the press,” said a spokesperson for the company.
Tesla claims to have investigated her charges on multiple occasions with the help of a neutral, third-party expert.
Her attorney Therese Lawless told The Guardian that AJ is devastated. She also says that the firing is a case of ‘clear retaliation.’
AJ had worked at Tesla since 2013. She claimed that she was paid less than male engineers and that men were promoted over her even though sometimes she more qualified than the men. She also said that she dealt with “unwelcome and pervasive harassment by men on the factory floor including but not limited to inappropriate language, whistling, and catcalls.”
When she pointed out her concerns about defective cars, she says that the company called her a ‘whistleblower’.
Tesla said that AJ was indeed granted many positions and that she behaved in a false and misleading manner.
“It is impossible to trust anyone after they have behaved in such a manner and therefore continued employment is also impossible,” it said.
Tesla is facing criticism for its alleged sub-par working conditions. According to a report which analysed injury logs from a Tesla factory in Fremont, California, Tesla workers were seriously injured more than twice as often as the industry average.
Factory worker Jose Moran also blogged about the gruelling conditions at Tesla’s plant in a widely shared Medium post. He complained about the low pay, abnormally long hours, and how often workers got injured.
Tech companies have been getting flak for not doing enough to protect the rights of women. A former engineer at Uber also went public with her story of sexual harassment earlier this year.
Pic Credit: Teslarat