Undeterred By Intimidation, Tesla Whistleblower Karl Hansen Files New Lawsuit Against Elon Musk

Tesla whistleblower Karl Hansen doesn't seem to be deterred by the intimidation tactics that the company has used against whistleblowers in the past. He's also dead set on trying to help other whistleblowers come forward, according to The Drive

He filed a lawsuit on July 19 in Nevada against Elon Musk for violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley act, intentional interference with business relations and breach of contract. 

Hansen said:

 “It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and I remain steadfast regardless of any monetary outcome. The only thing we are guaranteed to take to our graves is our name. I’ve spent a career of integrity, and won’t stand idly by when someone like Elon Musk runs roughshod over others because he happens to be a billionaire.

He continued:

 “Even though this has been and continues to be one of the most wrenching experiences of my life, it’s important for people to do the right thing, even if it means doing it alone. If you stay in the arena long enough, even by yourself, people will notice that, and the right people are going to notice your courage, and will support you.”

In his lawsuit, he says that the company interfered with his ability to find work. It's a similar claim that some former Buffalo factory workers made, alleging Tesla “intentionally interfered with efforts to seek employment with other employers in retaliation for outspoken union support.”

According to the report, Hansen also alleges: 

  • Musk and Tesla’s management actively concealed and participated in misconduct including spying on employees

  • Thefts ranging between $37 and $150 million dollars, along with links to a Mexican drug cartel

  • A Tesla employee was terminated after reporting the theft of $13,000 of copper wire to law enforcement, foreshadowing Hansen’s own termination from the company shortly after briefing management about his findings into criminal activities taking place 

With regard to the cartel claims, it's also worth noting that "Pablo Escobar’s brother recently demanded $100 million in cash or Tesla shares from Musk for purportedly stealing his flamethrower idea". Nothing to see here...

Hansen's own termination is reminiscent of a former Tesla Director of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability who claimed they were fired after reporting safety violations. An assembly line worker was also reportedly fired after reporting anti-gay harassment. 

And, of course, whistleblower retaliation was the main theme of the Martin Tripp case:

...after Tesla identified him as the source for a Business Insider article, Tesla’s Security team gave police a tip that they’d received an anonymous call that Tripp was planning a mass shooting at the Nevada factory where he had worked. That evening, when police confronted the tearful, unarmed Tripp he expressed his terror of Musk; they concluded Tripp posed no threat, meaning he had been the victim of a ‘swatting’.

Tesla provided a comment for the article, which included the following paragraphs:

Tesla takes misconduct like Mr. Hansen’s very seriously and the company has every right to expect its employees and contractors to abide by its policies, and to be fully honest and cooperative when dealing with an internal investigation. As a result of the discovery of Mr. Hansen’s misconduct and misappropriation of confidential information, Tesla informed Mr. Hansen’s third-party employer and asked the firm to no longer assign Mr. Hansen to the Gigafactory. However, Mr. Hansen’s termination from the third-party contractor is a matter between his employer and Mr. Hansen, and does not involve Tesla.

Elon was not personally involved in the decision to request that Hansen be reassigned from the Gigafactory, and doesn’t remember having ever met Hansen and certainly wouldn’t be able to identify him out of more than 40,000 employees at Tesla.”

Certainly, he wouldn't, right? We'd bet Mr. Hansen may disagree with this take...