A materials engineer fired by Tesla Motors earlier this year is suing the automaker, claiming that his age led to the dismissal.
The discrimination suit filed by Thomas Flessner, 69, paints a picture of a Logan’s Run-like corporate atmosphere that values youth above all else, Fusion reports. It is the newest in a steady stream of complaints about the youth-focused culture within the tech sector.
Flessner joined the company as a contract hire ahead of earning a full-time position on the automaker’s engineering team in 2012. He claims that his casting operate earned him praise from CEO Elon Musk, and led to his position at the company’s Fremont, California factory. As soon as on board, even so, two of his 3 supervisors allegedly produced disparaging comments about his age, and one particular singled him out for it.
According to the suit, Flessner was regularly shut out of meetings, faced unusually harsh rebukes, and saw quite a few complaints about his work performance. He alleges that his supervisor typically called him out for operating too slowly. The average age of the engineering group was 27, Flessner claims.
His suit claims that “the younger engineers were not criticized for the speed of their work by (supervisor Paul) Edwards even though they did not accomplish their projects any more quickly than plaintiff.”
Although serving as manager of casting technologies, Flessner’s manager, Mark Young, allegedly shot down any feedback from him. Young’s comments had been along the lines of, “I don’t require that from an old guy like you.”
The therapy allegedly worsened when he returned to operate following taking time off for congestive heart failure. An ex-supervisor, with whom Flessner had a great functioning relationship, warned that his existing supervisors have been “gunning” for him. Prior to his termination in February, Flessner claims that he and Edwards worked on an “action plan” to boost his function performance.
The strategy stemmed from a September 2015 overall performance assessment, in which Edwards claimed he wasn’t operating quickly sufficient. According to the suit, “This criticism was unreasonable due to the fact it held Plaintiff to a higher normal than the other, younger, engineers. It was clear to Plaintiff that Mr. Edwards was implying that he worked slower due to the fact of his age. His operate had not changed and his review showed that he continued to supply value to the company.”
Flessner is suing for compensatory damages, including lost wages and stock possibilities, pre-judgment interest, attorneys’ costs and charges, and punitive damages.
According to Pay Scale, the median age of Tesla employees is 30 — about average for a tech firm. Previous media reports on employment inside the field revealed the surprising lengths to which some workers will go to stay away from getting seen as “old,” which includes 1 26-year-old worker who underwent plastic surgery to appear far more youthful.
In a society that prides itself on being diverse and non-discriminatory, Flessner’s lawsuit calls out an often ignored type of bias.