Tesla forced employees to ‘renew vows’ after media leaks

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A confidentiality document from Tesla Inc. The National Labor Relations Board poses a legal challenge, created as a response to various leaks of internal information to news organizations two years ago, an executive witness Wednesday.

"In September 2016, we have caused such bubbles to burst with a lot of leaks," said Jonathan Chang, Tesla's legal vice president, during an NLRB trial in Oakland, California. "You still have a leak and you think," Jeez, another one? & # 39; "

Chang said that Tesla's general council asked him to draw up a confidentiality document "to remind our employees of their obligations, and to renew their vows."

A job placement judge in Oakland is considering allegations by a regional director of the agency that Tesla violated federal labor law, including by taking revenge on union workers, limiting the pro-union activism of employees and maintaining a confidentiality policy that violates the rights of employees. Tesla has said that all accusations are incorrect.

Chang testified that articles from Bloomberg News and CNN in the fall of 2016, citing e-mails sent by CEO Elon Musk to all staff, helped to prepare and distribute the confidentiality document.

Leaks can damage Tesla in countless ways, including by encouraging customers to postpone their purchases in the expectation that new features are available, or by the company's plans to roll out new developments with a "big bang", said Chang. They can also cause "major SEC concerns" regarding how important information is released, Chang said.

Tesla's efforts to identify leaks include tracking the "technical track" of messages, such as metadata, Chang said. Although these attempts were unsuccessful in most cases, the company occasionally discovered the sources of leaks and prosecuted them, he said.

Chang described Tesla as an "incredibly transparent" company. When Tesla is asked during a cross-examination why Tesla shares confidential information – including in relation to the financial position – with all employees, Chang said: "The culture of Tesla is one of family and the trust of employees."