Tesla Inc.. has been sued by some former employees who say the company’s decision to lay off about 10% of its workforce violated federal law by failing to provide the notice required for job cuts.
Two workers laid off this month from Tesla’s battery factory near Reno, Nevada, say the company failed to meet the 60-day notification requirement under the Adaptation Act and retraining workers, according to the lawsuit they filed Sunday night in U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas.
John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield, who worked at the plant for about five years, were among more than 500 plant employees who were fired, according to the suit. Both men claim that neither has received notice of termination. They are seeking class action status for their lawsuit on behalf of others who were part of the mass layoffs in May and June.
The so-called WARN law obliges companies to provide 60 days notice before any collective dismissal affecting 50 or more employees on the same site. Lynch said he was notified on June 10 that he had been fired, effective immediately, and Hartsfield said he was notified on June 15.
“Tesla started firing people in blatant disregard of the WARN law,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based labor attorney who represents workers, said in an interview Monday.
Tesla did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
The electric vehicle manufacturer led by Elon Musk, now headquartered in Austin, has around 100,000 employees worldwide and has been hiring rapidly in recent months. The job cuts, which affected everyone from human resources representatives to software engineers, came as a surprise to many.
The plaintiffs seek compensation and benefits for 60 days after their termination notice, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.