Almost every whistleblower case is shocking in some way. After all, corporations that violate securities laws and business ethics can expose countless people to financial risk. Unfortunately, crimes like this happen all the time.
It isn’t until brave whistleblowers come forward to report securities violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that we can put a stop to this kind of fraudulent activity. Recently, this has been the case with two Tesla whistleblower clients who came to our firm.
When former employees began to take note of serious issues at Tesla and tried to do the right thing by reporting their concerns, they were terminated from their respective positions.
Our whistleblowers weren’t going to take this lightly. At Meissner Associates, we are committed to getting justice for whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re prepared to do for our clients who have blown the whistle on Tesla.
Internal Issues at Tesla
Martin Tripp and Karl Hansen are former employees of Tesla. Tripp worked as a technician and alleges that Tesla knowingly installed reused batteries that had been designated as waste and left waste and scrap on the ground inside the factory.
Hansen was a part of Tesla’s internal investigations team, which led him to discover that a Tesla employee allegedly was involved in drug trafficking through a Mexican drug cartel and that the illegal activity was connected to the factory.
Furthermore, Hansen alleges that Tesla began wiretapping and hacking employees’ phones and computers and failed to notify investors of a $37 million dollar loss after thieves stole raw materials from the factory in early 2018.
Retaliatory Action Against Whistleblowers
After Tripp and Hansen said they tried to bring their concerns to the attention of Tesla executives, they were terminated from their positions. Tesla has since taken actions that served to damage the former employees’ reputations and misrepresent their motives. Tesla sued Tripp after he leaked company documents to the press, and Tripp has since filed a countersuit.
Retaliation after voicing serious concerns to the company you work for is not only wrong, it’s illegal. And it’s a violation of SEC rules. Terminating and damaging an employee’s reputation falls squarely within the definition of retaliation.
What’s Next for the Tesla Whistleblowers?
Tripp and Hansen have both filed whistleblower complaints with the SEC regarding potential securities violations. As of the time of this writing, the investigation is ongoing. Tripp has also filed a countersuit against Tesla for defamation and other complaints.
From here, the SEC will likely investigate. Meissner Associates will work aggressively to expose Tesla’s irresponsible business practices and protect the Tesla whistleblowers who had the courage to speak out.