Inside 'nightmarish' Tesla & SpaceX where 'woman hid behind boxes to avoid sexual harassment' as Elon Musk hit by claim
THIS is a look inside the "nightmarish conditions" of SpaceX and Tesla – where a woman allegedly hid behind boxes to avoid sexual harassment as Elon Musk gets hit by a claim.
The Tesla CEO's two companies have been plagued with sexual harassment claims, including one against himself that he pushed back on this week as "utterly untrue."
Before it was revealed that a SpaceX flight attendant claimed Musk exposed himself to her and asked for sex back in 2016 – which the billionaire has since denied – others have spoken out about the spacecraft engineering company and Tesla was sued by six women.
Musk's recent denial comes about seven months after a Tesla night-shift employee, Jessica Barraza, claimed there was "rampant sexual harassment at Tesla" and "nightmarish conditions," according to The Washington Post.
The woman, who was 38 years old at the time of her complaint, worked in Tesla's factory in Fremont, California.
Barazza alleged that her co-workers and supervisors made vulgar comments and gestures, something she claims happened multiple times a week, according to the complaint obtained by Bloomberg News.
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The complaint said Barazza suffers from panic attacks after working in an allegedly troubled work environment.
It also claimed Barazza was "afraid to return to work knowing that her body could be violated at any time with no repercussions.
"She is on medication and in therapy, and she is not the same person she used to be."
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Following Barazza's case, six separate lawsuits were filed in December 2021 by women who claimed to have been sexually harassed in their workplace.
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The women, who worked in a Tesla factory or service center jobs, alleged their male colleagues often spoke of their bodies and clothing – but said nothing was done after they reported their coworkers' conduct to human resources.
The six women – Alisa Blickman, Alize Brown, Michaela Curran, Jessica Brooks, Samira Sheppard, and Eden Mederos – alleged coordinated complaints, obtained by Rolling Stone: "Tesla’s factory floor more resembles a crude, archaic construction site or frat house than a cutting-edge company in the heart of the progressive San Francisco Bay Area."
The complaints add: "The pervasive culture of sexual harassment, which includes a daily barrage of sexist language and behavior, including frequent groping on the factory floor, is known to supervisors and managers and often perpetrated by them."
Jessica Brooks claimed she was so heavily harassed at Tesla's Fremont seat factory that she wore loose clothing and piled boxes around her work area to keep men from catcalling her, according to The Post.
She told the news outlet: "I was so tired of the unwanted attention and the males gawking at me, I proceeded to create barriers around me just so I could get some relief.
"That was something I felt necessary just so I can do my job."
Michala Curren made allegations against the company and quit her factory job after two months.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by The Post: "Within her first weeks at work, her own Supervisor told her that with her 'big butt’ she should … be an exotic dancer, and tried to slap her on the backside as she changed out of the bodysuit she had to wear when painting Tesla’s cars."
In an interview with The Post, Curran said: "I just felt scared not knowing who to run to.
"Knowing there’s nothing but males around me — not knowing if they might have the same mind-set of the supervisor."
Samira Sheppard, who worked at the Fremont plant, alleged her male co-workers said comments like, "You look good for being so short" and “I know you look good under there," according to the report.
In an interview with The Post, 33-year-old Alisa Blickman recounted her supervisor saying, “I hear you don’t like to scream loud enough," as she was stretching.
Eden Mederos alleged her co-workers called her backside a "dump truck" and said, "a pretty girl shouldn’t be working in a service center."
Alize Brown, who was 21 years old and pregnant when he worked in the Fremont factory, claimed her colleagues called her a "cow" who was "milking."
SpaceX employees speak out
SpaceX was hit with sexual harassment claims by former female interns.
The women claimed to have been victims of sexual harassment and unwanted advances from male interns and men in senior-level positions, according to The New York Times.
In an essay published on the website Lioness, in December 2021, one of the former interns, Ashley Kosak, detailed her experience at the company.
One part of Kosak's essay reads: "Countless men made sexual advances toward me.
"In 2018, during a team bonding event, a male colleague ran his hand over my shirt, from my lower waist to my chest.
"I told my supervisors what he had done, then met with HR and reported the inappropriate behavior, but no one followed up.
"This man remained part of the team I reported to and worked for. Given my tenuous position at the company, I felt powerless."
Another intern, Julia CrowleyFarenga, sued SpaceX for being unwilling to hire her full-time after she reported sexual harassment, despite her high-performance ratings.
'A lot more to this story'
Meanwhile, the flight attendant who claimed Musk exposed himself, years ago, was reportedly a member of the cabin crew for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet when the alleged misconduct occurred.
In an email to Insider, Musk said there is “a lot more to this story.”
“If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he wrote, calling the story a "politically motivated hit piece."
Christopher Cardaci, Vice President of Legal at SpaceX, told Insider, “I'm not going to comment on any settlement agreements.”
Musk also made a statement on Twitter about the allegations, writing: "The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech."
In a separate tweet, Musk called the allegations "wild" and "utterly untrue."
The 2016 incident was alleged in papers signed by a friend of the flight attendant, who reportedly was handling a flight to London at the time of the alleged incident.
The friend also turned over records and other correspondence to Insider, the outlet said.
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The woman claimed that Musk allegedly exposed his erect penis to the flight attendant and offered to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.
She further claims Musk's company paid her $250,000 to settle the alleged sexual misconduct in 2018.
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