The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Thursday that Tesla had repeatedly violated labour laws in the United States.
According to sources, Tesla fired a union activist and retaliated against another activist. In addition, the company was “coercively interrogating” union supporters and banning workers from communicating with reporters. As per the ruling, it must rehire the fired employee, and Elon Musk, the CEO, must remove a threatening tweet from his account.
Tesla argued that the tweet was protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of expression and that no wrongdoing occurred. The ruling, however, disagreed, arguing that the letter “illegally intimidated” workers by stating that they “would forfeit their stock options if they chose the Union.”
This isn’t the first time that Musk had gotten in trouble with U.S. agencies.
In 2018, he was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over a tweet that claimed he had secured funding to take Tesla private. The case ultimately resulted in a settlement that allowed Musk’s tweets on specific topics to be pre-approved by a lawyer.
Companies in the United States are allowed by labour legislation to make pessimistic assumptions about the effects of unionization. They are, however, forbidden from intimidating or firing workers for doing so.