If employees in Louisiana or anywhere else have information about illegal activity within their companies, they are allowed to report it. As long as a claim is made in good faith, an employee is generally protected from retaliation from their employer. A former Tesla employee told the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2019 that the company had hacked employee cellphones and that other materials had been stolen. This tip is said to corroborate another tip the SEC received in August.
According to a representative of the company, the employee who sent the most recent tip did not raise concerns to Tesla during an internal investigation. The statement also mentioned that the employee was let go from the company because of poor performance and a lack of understanding as it related to security best practices. It concluded that the man was only looking to get attention from the media.
A July 2018 report described another tip that accused the company of inaccurately reporting Model 3 production numbers. The report also indicated that the SEC received information that the company had used defective batteries in cars that were intended for use by the public. There was no comment from the SEC about any of the tips that it had received regarding Tesla.
If an employee brings a case against their employer on the government’s behalf, they might be able to obtain a portion of any money recovered in the suit. This is referred to as a Qui Tam case, and an attorney may be able to help a person pursue such a matter. An attorney could also be helpful if an employee is retaliated against for doing so. Qui Tam and employment law cases are often settled out of court.