According to the complainant, Solomon Chau, Musk and his directors failed to fulfill their duty to create responsible working conditions by promoting discrimination and harassment. As a result, they exposed Tesla to millions of dollars in potential damages, the lawsuit said.
“This toxic work environment has grown internally for years and the truth about Tesla’s corporate culture has only recently come to light, prompting legal action by government regulators and private parties,” Chau said in the legal documents. “Tesla’s toxic corporate culture has caused financial and irreparable image damage.” According to the shareholder, Musk must have known about the “illegal activity on such a large scale”, or was “reckless or grossly negligent”.
Tesla is currently in a legal battle with authorities in California over racial discrimination and harassment. The U.S. state labor agency has said it has identified a widespread pattern of ill-treatment of black workers at Tesla’s Fremont factory, near San Francisco. In addition, there are also several complaints from female employees regarding sexual harassment in the same establishment.
The automaker has not yet responded to the new charge. In a blog post in February, the company said the allegations by the California authorities were unfounded.