Recently there has been a defamation case where Tesla was accused of being fired and being defamed. Tesla won the case with a former engineer who claimed that she raised concerns about doormats and contracting practices and was fired for that. By the time the case ended, it was found that the engineer, Cristina Balan falsely accused Tesla of firing her.
In a 2017 Huffington Post article, there were false accusations on Tesla about firing Balan. It was stated that she was fired under “criminal conduct” which was not true. However, now as the court announced its final hearing, Tesla won the case.
In March, a California-based appeals court rules that as her claims were directly related to employment with Tesla, she had to arbitrate the defamation claims. As the company asked the court to confirm the arbitrator’s decision it became challenging for Balan to prove. In an email on Friday, Balan said that she is seeking to vacate the arbitration award. Stated, that it was “due to fraud, corruption, bias…and manifest disregard for the law.”
Prior to this, in the 2019 lawsuit, Balan stated that she was fired shortly after sending an email to CEO Elon Musk. Stated that contracts were awarded based on friendships and not because of price or quality.
Balan’s claims in regard to doormats were that the floormats were curling up under the pedals in Tesla Model S vehicles. Additionally, she claimed that the companies fired her for using company time working on another personal project and that she was illegally recording conversations in the company.
It is known that Tesla lauded Balan’s work before firing her, also credited her for designing the battery pack perfectly. In 2020 there was a post in media stating that Balan’s fight could be a path towards employee rights. While a dramatic narrative was explained all along for years, it turned out to be a not-so fruitful experience for Balan.
Her claims last year stated that she wanted to meet up with Elon Musk, as earlier he told that if there are issues people should contact him directly. She says that somehow she ended up in the HR room, which seemed weird for her. It said that “she was forced to resign”. Further stated that she would have moved on but her personal reputation is damaged, where people stated, “They tell me, ‘We’d like to hire you, but we can’t afford to be on Musk’s blacklist,’” All the claims seemed reasonable till the court asked her to show or prove the claims.