Tesla petitions court to affirm arbitrator’s decision in engineer defamation lawsuit

Tesla Inc has filed a petition in a San Francisco federal court asking it to affirm an arbitrator’s recent decision dismissing a former engineer’s claims that it had fired and defamed her for raising concerns regarding contracting practices and defective floormats.

In its petition, Tesla asked the federal court to affirm the November 3 decision which found Cristina Balan’s claims that Tesla had falsely accused her of criminal conduct in response to a 2017 Huffington Post article about her firing were untimely.

Earlier this year in March, a California-based appeals court ruled that Balan was required to arbitrate the defamation claims because they were directly related to her employment with Tesla.

In an email Balan said that she would seek to vacate the arbitration award “due to fraud, corruption, bias … and manifest disregard for the law.”

In her 2019 lawsuit, Balan had claimed she was fired shortly after sending an email to Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk claiming contracts were being awarded based on friendships regardless of price or quality.

Balan had also raised concerns about floormats in Tesla’s Model S curling up under the pedals.

Tesla has said, she was fired for using company time to work on a personal project and illegally recording conversations with colleagues.

According to court filings, Tesla had lauded Balan’s work prior to her firing, including crediting her with perfecting a design for a battery pack.

Categories: Creativity, Economy & Finance, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Regulations & Legal, Strategy

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