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NLRB says Tesla violated the law by telling employees not to talk about pay

The automaker also reportedly told employees not to complain to management about workplace conditions.
HANGZHOU, CHINA - NOVEMBER 27, 2022 - Customers walk past a Tesla store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, Nov 27, 2022. [Photo/IC] Tesla Inc has recalled 80,561 imported Model S and Model X electric cars and some imported and domestically produced Model 3 electric cars, the State Administration for Market Regulation announced. (Photo credit should read CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Future Publishing via Getty Images
Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon|@mariella_moon|December 31, 2022 3:51 AM

The National Labor Relations Board has accused Tesla of violating labor law by prohibiting employees in Orlando, Florida from talking about workplace matters. According to Bloomberg, NLRB's Tampa regional director filed a complaint against the automaker in September for breaking the law when it told employees not to discuss their pay with other people and not to talk about the termination of another employee. In addition, based on the filing the news organization obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Tesla management reportedly told employees "not to complain to higher level managers" about their working conditions. 

Tesla has had to face several complaints by the NLRB over the past years. In 2021, the agency found that the automaker had violated US labor laws by firing a union activist and threatening workers' benefits. The NLRB ordered the company to rehire union activist Richard Ortiz and to remove all mentions of disciplinary action from his files. It also ordered Tesla chief Elon Musk to delete a tweet that the court had deemed a threat that employees would be giving up company-paid stock options if they join a union. The tweet in question is still live, and Tesla is appealing the NLRB's ruling in court. 

An agency spokesperson told Bloomberg that a judge will hear the complaint filed by the Tampa regional director in February. As the publication notes, companies can still appeal the agency judges' decision to NLRB members in Washington and then to federal court, so any corrective action may take years to happen.

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NLRB says Tesla violated the law by telling employees not to talk about pay