A former Tesla Motors Inc. employee is suing the company for $5 million, alleging she was forced to quit last year because of her manager’s conversations about sex and that he harassed and ridiculed her due to an unspecified disability.
The manager often discussed the “body parts” of customers in the showroom and “discussed intimate details of co-workers’ sex lives,” the suit alleges. He said he “thought it was cool how women did porn and that he supported sexuality,” the suit states.
The plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit she filed Wednesday, which also names as a defendant Michael Sagaria, described in the complaint as the manager at the time of Tesla’s Canoga Park store on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
The suit’s allegations include wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The complaint also seeks an injunction preventing Tesla from engaging in discriminatory employment policies.
A Tesla representative did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
The suit states that Doe was a “product specialist” at the Canoga Park location for six months until her October departure. She previously worked for Tesla from 2012-13, the suit states.
Doe was twice recognized for being the second or third leading performer in her region while working at a Valencia pop-up Tesla store, the suit states.
In July 2015, Sagaria, who is about 50 years old, said he wanted to date a 20-year-old and asked Doe and other co-workers for their opinions, the suit states.
“He often told plaintiff she was beautiful, which made plaintiff very uncomfortable, and also said she had a nice (posterior) among other offensive comments,” according to the lawsuit.
Sagaria ridiculed Doe’s disability — which is not identified in the lawsuit — and asked her for proof of her medical diagnosis in front of co- workers, the suit states.
“Sagaria also told her co-worker that she had an (sexually transmitted disease),” the suit alleges.
Doe complained to Tesla’s human resources department about Sagaria’s alleged conduct, but nothing was done to stop his behavior toward her, the suit states.
Doe resigned in frustration last Oct. 5, the suit states.
–City News Service
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