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Tesla breached U.S. labor law by silencing workers.

Photo: Tesla

A U.S. labor board official concluded that Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) supervisors at a Florida service center violated labor law by directing employees not to discuss salary and other working conditions or complain to higher-ups.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge Michael Rosas ruled Tuesday that Orlando repair business managers improperly silenced workers in 2021 after several protested that recruits were paid more.

The judge ordered Tesla to stop infringing workers’ rights, publish notices at the service center, and email staff. Tesla’s latest labor board setback comes amid lawsuits claiming pervasive racial and sex discrimination at its manufacturing sites.

Tesla did not comment. The judgment states that in late 2021, collision center workers discovered that new hires were paid more per hour.

According to the verdict, many personnel complained, including a technician who called a Tesla vice president and had his complaint passed to the head of human resources.

Rosas claimed the service center’s 25 employees were told not to discuss wages and other working conditions or file complaints with higher-level management at a meeting. The complainant was dismissed weeks later. The technician filed an NLRB complaint against Tesla last year, and Rosas’ February hearing resulted in Tuesday’s verdict.

Tesla said it swiftly responded to the managers’ comments by placing a notice in the service center that allowed staff to debate wages. The judge said silencing workers violated their U.S. labor law right to unionize.

A month after a U.S. appeals court upheld an NLRB verdict that Tesla CEO Elon Musk breached the law by tweeting that employees would lose stock options if they joined a union, the decision was made. The corporation is also challenging an NLRB ruling that it illegally prohibited industrial workers from wearing union t-shirts.

The world’s most valuable carmaker is also being sued for race discrimination and sexual harassment, mostly at its Fremont, California, assembly facility. Tesla denies culpability in those situations.

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