Elon Musk loves Twitter. But it looks like one of his Tweets could have him in some major legal trouble.
Last September, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against Tesla, Inc. claiming that the innovative automotive company was intimidating and harassing union employees.
Employees from the Tesla plant in Fremont, California filed complaints with the NLRB in April 2017.
They claimed that employees who were handing out information about unionization were told by security to leave the premises. They also claimed that discussion about union activity were stifled and that they were forced to sign an "overly broad" confidentiality agreement "that coerces and intimidates employees from freely exercising their rights."
This summer, the case against Tesla was exacerbated when a report was filed claiming that Elon Musk met with workers from the Fremont plant telling them that the company would address their concerns if they dropped any plans to unionize.
It is against the National Labor Relations Act for an employer to "interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees".
As of this August, Musk has found himself and his company in even hotter water.
Last month, the NLRB pointed to one of Musk's Tweets as evidence of him interfering with the National Labor Relations Act.
Musk moved for the Tweet to be dismissed, but on Tuesday, a judge ruled that the Tweet will be permissible.
@dmatkins137 @ShayneRarma @NASA Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if… https://t.co/EI77ENhl8d— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1526885087.0
According the the NLRB, the Tweet threatens employees that they will lose stock options if they unionize.
A Tesla spokesperson rebutted their argument saying,
"Elon's tweet was simply a recognition of the fact that unlike Tesla, we're not aware of a single UAW [United Auto Workers]-represented automaker that provides stock options or restricted stock units to their production employees, and UAW organizers have consistently dismissed the value of Tesla equity as part of our compensation package."
Many people are rushing to the inventor's defense.
@CNN Leave Elon alone. We need more Elons.— Gatvol Safrican (@Gatvol Safrican)1535568835.0
@CNN Bullshit. Elon’s right. And the uaw would offer nothing for hear employees and actually make things worse.… https://t.co/F3IrsenCiZ— Tommy Igoe (@Tommy Igoe)1535569927.0
@MikkiHFX @JohnnaCrider1 @philjel1 @scottwww @elonmusk @yoda @RMac18 @TijenOnaran Meanwhile, something he tweeted r… https://t.co/8gzgRHXYof— Self-appointed Pope Of Muskanity (@Self-appointed Pope Of Muskanity)1535610627.0
@Independent There was a time when unions saved employees, now most are as corporate as the management & ran by tho… https://t.co/giFxCY8Yp6— Paul Kearney (@Paul Kearney)1527187388.0
Tesla's Now On Trial Over an Elon Musk Tweet. They just want to meet him and shake his hand. NEXT TIME JUST INVITE… https://t.co/bnHKhW8C1Y— IB6UB9 (@IB6UB9)1536878868.0
Others feel that Musk needs to stop campaigning against unionization.
@CaliforniaLabor @elonmusk @Tesla I don't care if he smokes weed. It will be legal in the entire US eventually. But… https://t.co/0lpo6HEDMY— Joyce Overly (@Joyce Overly)1536775322.0
@Lebeaucarnews @UAW @elonmusk He should stick to rocketry,he doesnt know shit about the union and the financial crisis of 2008.#ElonMusk— Kevin O'Connor (@Kevin O'Connor)1527177261.0
Others can't believe his Tweet is the center of a court case.
Anyway, I just think it's a neat novel thing that we're litigating over whether a tweet broke labor laws now. And a… https://t.co/z661eMWGOx— Ryan Felton (@Ryan Felton)1536875621.0
@CNN When did tweeting out loud became such a dangerous thing ? https://t.co/1pfxFjV6NY— James H. (@James H.)1535568712.0
Elon Musk's tweets are now the subjects of: - SEC investigation - NLRB charges - threatened defamation lawsuit https://t.co/9cPFNb0xA2— Julia Carrie Wong (@Julia Carrie Wong)1536876081.0
The trial resumes on September 24.