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Former Tesla Motors employee files class action suit

Former PR executive claims that Tesla violated employment contracts after he was laid off in company restructuring last year.

Tesla Motors' former director of public relations is suing the company, alleging that it violated terms of employment.

The class-action suit was filed Friday in San Mateo County Superior Court by David Vespremi. (Click here for PDF to see details of the claims.)

Vespremi was laid off in a company restructuring at the end of last year. The class that he is seeking to represent includes other former Tesla employees who had the same employment terms.

In his suit, he alleges that Tesla did not act in good faith in its dealings with him and did not follow California labor laws. He is also suing for libel and slander because of allegedly disparaging comments made about laid off employees in the press by company executives.

The claims of Vespremi or other participants will not be more than $75,000, according to the suit.

On Wednesday, Darryl Siry, Tesla's senior vice president of global sales, marketing, and service and Vespremi's former supervisor who is named in the suit, said that the law suit had no merit.

He noted that the class-action portion of the filed suit applies only to Tesla employees who sign the company's employment contract. The conditions of Vespremi's termination are a separate matter, Siry said, who had not been served as of Wednesday.

Tesla is being sued for breach of contract by its former business partner, Magna Powertrain USA. Tesla has filed suit against the design company of Henrik Fisker for allegedly stealing trade secrets.

Updated on July 16 with comments from Tesla representative and corrected spelling of Magna Powertrain.