— A lawsuit filed against Tesla alleges the automaker fired a manager because he spoke out about alleged business practices he saw as fraudulent.
Plaintiff Adam Williams alleges violations of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), which "prohibits retaliation and/or discharge of an employee for engaging in certain protected conduct."
Williams claims he was demoted multiple times and then fired because he is a whistleblower concerned about what a corporation allegedly hides from consumers.
Williams says he was employed by Tesla since 2011 and most recently held the position of mobile manager, but only after he had been demoted from other positions.
The plaintiff claims his troubles started when he became aware that Tesla was allegedly concealing pre-delivery damage repairs to consumers before selling the vehicles.
The plaintiff further claims Tesla was receiving vehicles designated as "lemons" and then reselling the vehicles without informing consumers the cars were “used” or “demo/loaner” vehicles.
Williams says he told his supervisor and a regional manager about the alleged problems, believing his conducted was protected under CEPA.
However, Williams says after making his reports, he was demoted from regional manager to the service manager of a New Jersey Tesla location. The plaintiff says in July 2017, we was again demoted to a mobile manager position, then in September was terminated.
According to the lawsuit, Tesla said the reason they fired Williams was because of his performance at the company, but the plaintiff claims he was "performing his duties in this role up to the legitimate expectations of his employer."
In filing the lawsuit, the plaintiff says he "demands judgment against the Defendants, jointly and/or severally and in the alternative, together with economic compensatory damages, non-economic compensatory damages, consequential damages, punitive damages, costs of suit, attorney’s fees and enhancements, interest, equitable front pay, equitable back pay, equitable reinstatement, and any other relief the court deems equitable and just."
The lawsuit was filed in the Burlington County Superior Court of New Jersey - Adam Williams v. Tesla Motors, Inc, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore.