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Tesla accused of racism in California lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, California –

California sued Tesla Inc. on Wednesday for allegedly discriminating and harassing Black employees at its San Francisco Bay Area plant.

Kevin Kish, head of the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, said the lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, was sparked by hundreds of worker complaints.

The state’s civil rights enforcement department “found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont factory was a racially segregated workplace where Black workers were subjected to racial slurs and Discrimination in job assignment, discipline, pay and promotion creates a hostile work environment”. Kish said in a statement reported by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Details of the lawsuit have yet to be released, and Tesla did not immediately respond to the lawsuit, which the electric car maker warned would come days earlier in a filing. year to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, in a blog post ahead of the filing, Tesla called the lawsuit a mistake and said the agency “has never raised any concerns” about workplace practices following the call. investigation lasted 3 years.

The post said the lawsuit appeared to focus on allegations made by manufacturing associates at the factory, who said misconduct took place between 2015 and 2019. The post also said it would make a claim. the court “pauses the case and takes other steps to ensure that the facts and evidence will be heard.”

“Hacking a company like Tesla that has done so much good for California shouldn’t be an important goal of a state agency with prosecution authority,” the blog reads.

Last October, a jury in San Francisco awarded nearly $137 million to a Black contract worker who said he faced “daily stories of racism.” “, including “N-word”, at the factory in 2015 and 2016 before quitting.

Owen Diaz said employees drew swastikas and left racist graffiti and drawings around the plant and that supervisors failed to stop the abuse.

Tesla is appealing that ruling and denies any reports of racist behavior that Diaz says took place at the plant, which employs about 10,000 workers.

Tesla’s blog post said it “always disciplines and terminates employees who engage in misconduct, including those who use racial slurs or harass others.”

In recent years, Tesla has faced accusations from former workers of sexual harassment and racism at its Fremont factory. However, many fail to make it to court because Tesla requires its full-time employees to agree to private arbitration for employment-related disputes.

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