Tesla Sued By Engineer Over Sexist Workplace Culture

A female Tesla engineer is suing the EV automaker after claiming that it has a sexist work culture.

In the lawsuit, AJ Vandermeyden alleges that the company ignored complaints of discrimination and pervasive harassment. Additionally, Vandermeyden claims that she was paid less than the male engineers who she replaced and that her and other female engineers were not given promotions despite being as qualified as male employees.

The suit goes on to assert that Vamdermeyden’s bosses wouldn’t give her a promotion unless she met targets higher than those of male employee and that she wasn’t provided overtime pay or breaks when she was employed in a sales role. Additionally, she claims that she was harassed by “inappropriate language, whistling and catcalls” and was apparently punished for whistleblowing after raising her concerns about cars being knowingly sold with defects, reports Engadget.

In a statement, Tesla disputes the claims of the suit and says that an independent investigator determined the claims were unsubstantiated.

Tesla’s full statement issued to Engadget;

Tesla is committed to creating a positive workplace environment that is free of discrimination for all our employees. Ms. Vandermeyden joined Tesla in a sales position in 2013, and since then, despite having no formal engineering degree, she has sought and moved into successive engineering roles, beginning with her work in Tesla’s paint shop and eventually another role in General Assembly. Even after she made her complaints of alleged discrimination, she sought and was advanced into at least one other new role, evidence of the fact that Tesla is committed to rewarding hard work and talent, regardless of background. 

When Ms. Vandermeyden first brought her concerns to us over a year ago, we immediately retained a neutral third party, Anne Hilbert of EMC2Law, to investigate her claims so that, if warranted, we could take appropriate action to address the issues she raised. After an exhaustive review of the facts, the independent investigator determined that Ms. Vandermeyden’s ‘claims of gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation have not been substantiated.’ Without this context, the story presented in the original article is misleading.”

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