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Tesla Factory Reportedly Described As a 'Predator Zone' By Female Employees (theverge.com) 389

An anonymous reader shares a report: Tesla's Fremont factory was described by a female employee as a "predator zone" of harassment in a meeting attended by dozens of employees, according to a bombshell report in The Guardian. Other women recalled being catcalled by male employees, feeling unsafe around male managers, and being subjected to sexist comments by their superiors, the report states. For months, The Guardian has been tracking the case of AJ Vandermeyden, a former Tesla engineer who sued the electric automaker for "unwanted and pervasive harassment." In her suit, Vandermeyden alleges that she and other female employees were denied promotions, paid less than their male peers, and retaliated against after making their concerns known to human resources. Several months after making her claims publicly, Vandermeyden was fired by Tesla.
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Tesla Factory Reportedly Described As a 'Predator Zone' By Female Employees

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:29PM (#54749525)

    You should see what's going on at SpaceX. Women there are forced to build products shaped like penises. Oh my!

    • Hey..if you flip over the Tesla emblem...it looks suspiciously like an erect penis with balls at the end....

      How unfair to the female workers, forced to work there and wear and contribute to such a sexist emblem.

      Perhaps they all need to go work at Vulva...err....Volvo. That place seems much more feminist friendly for our gyno-american section of the workforce.

  • Send everyone to sensitivity training.
    • Sounds like it won't be enough unless they have a "how not to be a raging dickhead" training.

      • Sounds like it won't be enough unless they have a "how not to be a raging dickhead" training.

        That's why managers have to keep going to sensitivity training every week until their department changes. Most dickheads will do anything to avoid attending sensitivity training. Some might even change their ways.

  • Misleading summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Merk42 ( 1906718 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:34PM (#54749587)
    "Several months after making her claims publicly, Vandermeyden was fired by Tesla."
    Oh the evil misogynist corporation trying to silence the victim?
    No
    She was fired because 'a neutral, third-party expert' ... concluded her complaints were unmerited. [slashdot.org]
    • by dskoll ( 99328 )

      She was fired because 'a neutral, third-party expert' ... concluded her complaints were unmerited. ... according to Tesla, that is.

      • by sinij ( 911942 )
        You would be crazy to make something up like that, as THE ENTIRE SJW LEGION will be fact checking such statements.
        • by phorm ( 591458 )

          I'd be less worried about the legion and more about the lawyers in the wrongful-dismissal case that will follow.

        • THE ENTIRE SJW LEGION will be fact checking such statements.

          So, the evil SJWs like facts? That's absurd. Us Freedom Warriors don't need anything as progressive as facts to support our case.

      • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
        I don't like the results, therefore, study is corrupt!

        See also: Climate change, vaccines
    • Even the summary makes it clear it's more than one woman who has run into problems. I know, it's no longer in fashion to read the summary, and you obviously didn't, so here, let me help you with that:

      Other women recalled being catcalled by male employees, feeling unsafe around male managers, and being subjected to sexist comments by their superiors, the report states

      It's also the tagline under the headline of the second story:

      "A female engineer who came forward with claims of harassment says she was fired in retaliation. But now other women have voiced similar concerns."

      "Merk42 didn't read the summary. Don't be like Merk42. Read the summary" :-)

      • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
        You think I didn't read the summary, when the part with Vandermeyden is over half of the summary (and the latter half to boot)?
        The Vandermeyden part is the misleading part, that's why I specifically mentioned that part and not the rest.
        • And if you followed the link, you would have found there was more to the story. Also, Tesla failed to identify the "neutral 3rd party expert" in the link you provided, so anyone who doesn't take this claim with a grain of salt is very naive. Or did you not notice that they weren't exactly forthcoming and transparent? Kind of hurts their credibility.
  • Predator Zone? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sinij ( 911942 )
    If you are criminally harassed, record and call the cops. For anything else consider that your safe zone doesn't extend past university campus, social studies faculty.
    • Re:Predator Zone? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:51PM (#54749727) Homepage

      Except labor laws prohibit certain forms of harrassment at work even if they don't constitute criminal behavior.

    • by Njovich ( 553857 )

      That's an interesting theory, but catcalling coworkers will get you fired nearly anywhere. Tesla should crack down on that shit.

    • Re:Predator Zone? (Score:4, Informative)

      by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @04:28PM (#54750681) Journal

      If you are criminally harassed, record and call the cops.

      Since it's a civil case, not a criminal one, I'm sure you meant "lawyers" instead of "cops".

      So yeah, that's what's happening, but you seem cross about it.

  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:45PM (#54749685) Homepage
    Yes, I know Tesla is kind of a startup, but auto plants can be rough places in general. There's certainly no political correctness going on in the ones I've been in. Companies need to crack down on harassment, but singling out Tesla is hardly fair.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Holi ( 250190 )
      But see, companies like Ford and Chevrolet and GM all went through this and they did fix things, which is why you don;t hear about these complaints from their employees. Tesla started up at a time when companies know that these actions cause problems, and yet ignore them like most other silicon valley companies.

      It always seems to be these libertarian styled companies that have the biggest issues with treating women like shit nowadays.
    • How exactly is a company that was established almost 15 years ago, a kind of a startup?

      • by AaronW ( 33736 )

        Compared to the next oldest car company they are. The last time an American car maker went public was Ford in 1956. The last time a major US car company that still exists was founded was 1925 (Chrysler), though some may argue about the fact that Chrysler is now owned by Fiat (founded in 1899). By comparison, Tesla is certainly a start-up.

  • Wouldn't it be more accurate to say it's more of a highway to someplace dangerous... perhaps then a Highway to the Danger Zone?

  • When did Slashdot become a place of so much vileness, racism and misogyny?

    Some of you guys have some serious problems.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:14PM (#54749915)

    I already see a million comments from the crowd who dismisses all these complaints as "SJW BS." However, there is a pattern of startups ignoring bad behavior of some "rockstars." If proven to be true, that incident with Uber was pretty blatant -- having a female employee receive a request for...companionship...on her first day from her boss. I'm sure Tesla isn't far from its roots as a startup in terms of HR maturity either. They may be pretty far away from some one-trick phone app startup, but this is a culture thing that doesn't change unless there's external pressure to do so.

    It doesn't even have to be a startup; I've worked at established companies where top salespeople get automatic passes on all the sexual harassment rules -- their management is willing to deal with the fallout to keep this salesperson producing. Watching some of these latent lawsuits in action is interesting, and the anti-SJW crowd can't just pretend it doesn't exist or that female employees receiving this treatment are all too sensitive. Whether it's the "neckbeard creeper" sort of stalking harassment, or the "ex-fratboy" overt kind -- if I were a woman I wouldn't be too happy with having to put up with either.

  • by TimothyHollins ( 4720957 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:14PM (#54749919)

    Yikes, so much wrong with this.

    Title says "Tesla Factory Reportedly Described As a 'Predator Zone' By Female Employees", but the first sentence says "Tesla's Fremont factory was described by a female employee...". So which one is it? Plural is quite different from singular.

    Then, there's the story (I'm not even gonna touch the Verge crap, we all know it's an identity politics rag at this point). Let's see.

    The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was “be bold for change” in the fight for a “more gender inclusive world” – but some at Tesla had a different plan for the day.

    Five seconds in, and we already know the author is an "I know what's best for everyone" type keyboard warrior. This does not bode well for objectivity.

    It was an opportunity for women to discover essential oils. A “health and wellness group” at the electric car company invited female staff members to an 8 March “lunch ‘n learn” about oils and how they can help improve people’s “health and happiness”, according to emails seen by the Guardian, which reveal that the proposed event was quickly met with vocal criticism.

    Starting off great with some outrage that women were offered a 'lunch 'n learn' about oils. It's a well known fact that women don't like such things, that's why there's no market for female skin care products or wellness products. But hey, don't let a multi-billion dollar market get in the way of your feminism, you know what's best for everyone. Stay strong.

    Tesla postponed the oils session. The company organized a town hall meeting on diversity for that day, which included six male executives and one woman, according to multiple attendees.

    Note that there weren't 7 women executives attending, which is how a correctly diversified workplace should look. If they're all black, that's even more diverse. Diversity means fewer dicks in well-paid positions (but screw coal mining and construction, those places are dangerous!). Also note that this point is according to multiple attendees, but doesn't mention if Vandermeyden is included.

    At the crowded meeting at the Fremont factory, women took the microphone one-by-one and shared stories of sexual harassment, mistreatment by male managers, unfair promotion decisions and more, sources said.

    Now suddenly, "sources said". It's no longer Vandermeyden? The author doesn't mention other people coming forward here...

    Vandermeyden, who attended the meeting, thought the outpouring of comments validated her own story.

    Oh, I guess we're back to Vandermeyden.

    Testimony from the town hall – along with internal emails from Musk, and Vandermeyden’s first interview since her termination – paint a picture of a company that has struggled to respond to mounting complaints about gender discrimination and has aggressively attempted to discredit a woman who publicly criticized it .

    Testimony from the Town Hall... according to Vandermeyden? This is starting to sound very fishy. Almost as if there's only a single source for the "sky is falling" claims.

    Musk was not at the meeting, which was attended by roughly 70-100 people, and featured comments from more than 20 women, according to Vandermeyden and another attendee.

    Ahh, so there it is. Vandermeyden and another attendee. Wait, why is the other attendee only mentioned now? Does that mean that the other attendee only validated this one thing? That there were "more than 20" women attending?

    One woman described parts of the factory as a “predator zone” for harassment. When the moderator asked women in the room if they had ever been catcalled, a significant number of women raised their hands, according to Vander

    • Yikes, so much wrong with this.

      Title says "Tesla Factory Reportedly Described As a 'Predator Zone' By Female Employees", but the first sentence says "Tesla's Fremont factory was described by a female employee...". So which one is it? Plural is quite different from singular. ...

      The whole thing sounds eerily familiar. Attention-seeking woman with no particular skills of her own levels accusations of misogyny against a group of male nerds, and is promptly backed by hit pieces written by obviously wildly biased excuses for journalists who also happen to be well-known third wave feminists.

      I've heard this song before. It was called GamerGate.

      Attacking nerds never goes out of style...

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @05:34PM (#54751551) Homepage Journal

      The important part is that Tesla has confirmed to the Guardian that other women have made complaints and harassment. If it was just one person trying to make a false claim there would not be others saying similar things.

      Also, have you ever read a newspaper before? That's how they are written. It sucks but they aren't trying to make a watertight legal argument to convince the jury of skeptics.

  • Check your sources (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aoism ( 996912 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:48PM (#54750179)
    According to the Guardian article:

    "Musk was not at the meeting, which was attended by roughly 70-100 people, and featured comments from more than 20 women, according to Vandermeyden and another attendee. "

    So no one could independently verify that 20 women actually made comments at this meeting, other than a Woman who is trying to sue Tesla over supposed discrimination, and some random, unnamed person? Those are what pass for sources enough to write an inflammatory article saying "DOZENS OF WOMEN CLAIM HARASSMENT" ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @04:00PM (#54750305)

    When I spent some quality time at Tesla doing installation work, I was surprised by various workers at different pitches along the line loudly blasting hard core hip hop music that profanely objectified women (you know the type of lyrics I"m talking about). On one hand, I appreciated that Tesla let their very hard working employees listen to the music (and I really appreciated being able to eat free cereal while I worked on electronics out on the line). On the other hand, I found the lyrics of the music to be really offensive to women and not at all professional. Also, I was surprised there there seemed to be little concern for the safety implications of blasting loud music.

  • It wasn't a blonde bombshell was it?

The young lady had an unusual list, Linked in part to a structural weakness. She set no preconditions.

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