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Tesla loses bid to move sexual harassment lawsuit to arbitration

Stock Markets May 24, 2022 02:31PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla vehicle drives past Tesla's primary vehicle factory after CEO Elon Musk announced he was defying local officials' coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions by reopening the plant in Fremont, California, U.S. May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Ste
 
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By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters) -A California state judge has rejected Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc's bid to send a lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment at the company's flagship assembly plant to private arbitration, allowing it to move forward in court.

California Superior Court Judge Stephen Kaus in Oakland denied Tesla's motion to compel arbitration in a brief order on Monday.

In a written opinion released on Tuesday, Kaus said Tesla had improperly pressured the plaintiff, Jessica Barraza, to sign an arbitration agreement after she had already quit her previous job.

"Basically, Barraza was ambushed," the judge wrote.

Barraza in the lawsuit filed in November claims workers and supervisors at the Fremont, California plant routinely made lewd comments and gestures to female employees, and that the company failed to address complaints.

The lawsuit is one of at least seven pending in California state court to make similar claims against Tesla. Kaus is presiding over five more of those cases.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

David Lowe, a lawyer for Barraza, called the decision "a victory for public accountability."

"Because of this ruling... Tesla will be judged by a jury of Ms. Barraza's peers in a public courtroom," Lowe said in a statement.

Along with the pending sexual harassment claims, Tesla is facing separate lawsuits accusing it of tolerating widespread race discrimination at its plants. A California judge last month awarded $15 million to a Black former factory worker who said he was subjected to racist slurs and graffiti from coworkers.

Tesla has said it does not tolerate harassment and has disciplined and fired workers who engaged in misconduct.

Tesla loses bid to move sexual harassment lawsuit to arbitration
 

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Comments (3)
Sidney Glover
Sidney Glover May 24, 2022 2:42PM ET
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Carlos Guo makes posts that are supportive of Russians and Chinese propaganda machines talking points. more than likely he is a paid poster. his posts contain no facts. there are allegations all ilks of political spectrum.
buyhigh selllow
buyhigh selllow May 24, 2022 2:42PM ET
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the jury should contain peers of the accused, correct?
Sidney Glover
Sidney Glover May 24, 2022 2:42PM ET
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lol buy high is correct. journalism here is unedited for facts.
Soi Lee
Soi Lee May 24, 2022 11:35AM ET
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닥쳐라 좀
 
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