B2B Payments

Tesla Temp Employee Fights Back Against Debit Payroll Cards

A temp employee placed by staffing agency Balance Staffing to work for Tesla has reportedly filed a lawsuit, alleging Balance Staffing pressured workers to receive debit payroll cards instead of paychecks and claiming Tesla employees aren’t receiving overtime compensation or work breaks.

Reports in Jalopnik said the lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal action related to Tesla employment practices; last week reports in Bloomberg said a discrimination lawsuit was filed against the car manufacturer and two contracting firms, West Valley Staffing Group and Citistaff Solutions.

The latest lawsuit, filed by Dorley Nezbeth-Altimore, claims Tesla should also be held liable for alleged staffing violations in addition to the staffing agency itself. According to the suit, “During the relevant time period, defendants willfully failed to pay all overtime wages owed to plaintiffs and class members.”

Nezbeth-Altimore also claims Balance Staffing “pressured” workers to accept debit payroll cards instead of a paycheck. Requiring employees to accept payroll cards is prohibited, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The publication noted Nezbeth-Altimore filed a similar complaint last year via the California Workforce Development Agency.

In a statement, Tesla said the firm “goes above and beyond the requirements of California and federal law in providing workers meal and rest breaks and appropriate overtime pay.”

“This is a dispute between a temporary worker and her employer staffing agency, which is responsible for payment of her wages,” a spokesperson for the car manufacturer said. “There is no specific wrongdoing alleged against Tesla. Regardless, whether Tesla or a staffing agency, we expect employers to act ethically, lawfully and do what is right.”

The company added that it plans to shift all temporary employees onto full-time positions.

Payroll cards have been at the center of several other lawsuits in recent months around the U.S. A high-profile case in New York state involves the Department of Labor, which is fighting an earlier court decision that invalidated payroll card regulations issued by the department.

These cases often involve claims that fees linked to the use of payroll debit cards by employees, whether for accessing cash, making purchases or otherwise, are unlawful.


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