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Federal appeals court upholds finding that Musk, Tesla violated labor laws

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Tesla and Musk appeals rejected by court

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a previous finding that Tesla and CEO Elon Musk violated labor laws by firing an employee involved in union organizing and making an apparent threat to rescind stock options if employees unionized.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) determinations in Friday’s ruling, allowing the board to enforce its 2021 order that required Tesla to reinstate former employee Richard Ortiz with backpay and directed Musk to delete a tweet.

“This is a happy day where my rights were finally vindicated. I look forward to returning to work at Tesla and working with my co-workers to finish the job of forming a Union,” Ortiz said in a statement.

Ortiz was involved in unionizing efforts at Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif. After three Tesla employees testified before the California state legislature in opposition to pro-union legislation at the behest of the company, Ortiz shared information about those employees in a private union Facebook group.


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