Tesla accuses civil rights agency of unlawfully suing for racial discrimination TechCrunch

Tesla has accused the California Department of Housing and Fair Employment (DFEH) of failing to conduct proper investigations before suing Tesla over racial discrimination at its assembly plant, according to a lawsuit filed today. filed Wednesday with the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

The DFEH filed a lawsuit against Tesla in February for alleged racial discrimination and harassment of employees at the company’s Fremont plant. Tesla has tried to put the lawsuit on hold to settle claims out of court, which the automaker argues should have been an option before DFEH resorted to a lawsuit.

On Wednesday, Judge Evelio Grillo of the Superior Court of California said it would be inappropriate to uphold the case, according to Reuters. (The news agency was also the first to report on Tesla’s lawsuit against OAL a day before it was officially filed.) However, according to court records, Grillo agreed to give a hearing on August 23 for a motion to resign, or a motion to dismiss. , based on the dubious practices of the DFEH.

The automaker alleges that DFEH – in a response to Grillo’s decision not to allow the case to be upheld and in a lawsuit filed with OAL – of applying “implicit regulations” without regard to the claims. that they need to bring before taking action against an employer, such as giving the employer fair notice of the investigation and helping to mediate disputes before going to court.

Tesla may have more luck in August because California Fair Employment and Housing Act backs up some, if not all, of the automaker’s statements about how DFEH should conduct itself. However, sources familiar with the law told TechCrunch that OAL’s lawsuit probably won’t affect Tesla’s case, largely because it needs to be filed before the case begins.

As a result, the OAL lawsuit appears to be a move by Tesla to appease the agency’s power by requiring it to follow additional steps before suing employers like Tesla.

screenshot of OAL petition tesla

Screenshot of the petition filed with the California Office of Administrative Law on behalf of Tesla. Image credits: TechCrunch

Specifically, Tesla said the DFEH did not provide the automaker with notice of the “details” of investigations prior to initiating those investigations and did not provide information to support the findings. theirs against Tesla. The automaker also seems to take issue with the fact that the lawsuit was filed without participating in “conciliation and mediation in good faith” and that the lawsuit was based on “unresolved” claims. prior investigation and/or related to things that the employer was not provided with in advance – notice the lawsuit.”

The law appear to state that DFEH is required to promptly investigate claims of bias, but they are not required to notify employers of an investigation. However, the language of the law says that the DFEH should “immediately endeavor to eliminate the alleged illegal labor practice by conference, mediation, and persuasion,” and that prior to filing a civil action, “The department must require all parties to engage in mandatory dispute resolution within its internal dispute resolution department at no cost to the parties in an effort to resolve disputes without litigation. ”

DFEH could not be reached in time for comment.

OAL has 60 days to accept or deny a request based on certain criteria. But again, it remains unclear whether accepting this petition helps Tesla’s reasoning in this particular case as it is underway. OAL did not respond promptly for comment.

DFEH’s lawsuit against Tesla is one of a number of pending lawsuits in California courts accusing the automaker of tolerating discrimination and sexual harassment at its factories. surname.

A California judge this week moved closer to settling a lawsuit against former Tesla elevator operator Owen Diaz, who is accused of racist treatment and widespread harassment during the nine months he worked from home. Fremont machine. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco told Diaz he had two weeks accept $15 million payment from Tesla, far from 137 million dollars A jury had previously awarded Diaz.

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