Tesla, Inc. is getting sued by a former employee. The employee in question, Stephen Platt, claims that the company fired him because it didn’t want to give him his share bonus on his one year anniversary. Platt was a machinist working out of the Fremont, California Tesla plant. He says that he was fired the day before his one year anniversary, which cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock options that he was entitled to after one year. He claims that the company promised him, or offered him, 2,500 shares of commons stock in the car company after vesting period (which means that you don’t get access to those shares until a certain amount of time has passed) of one year. After one year the employee would have been entitled to purchase one quarter of the total amount.
Platt claims that he started on August 27, 2012 and was sacked on August 26th, 2013 and believes he has the right to that first vesting tranche of stock. The company is not responding to inquiries about the suit at this time, but if Platt would have been able to cash in on the options he potentially could have made over $240,000 dollars. The notion of granting stock options to employees, on a vesting basis, is very common practice in the tech industry as companies compete to draw in the best talent and reward their loyalty and efforts with a drip of stock options to secure their loyalty and prevent them from leaving to join a competitor.
If successful, this suit could open up to a much larger issue for the company. Other disgruntled employees with similar problems could join Platt and try and sue the company in a class action law suit. This isn’t the first issue the company has had at its Fremont plant as previous complaints about wages and working conditions have surfaced in the past.