EEOC Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Tesla

( – Electric automobile company Tesla is facing a federal lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleges that the company engaged in harassment and racial discrimination and creating a “hostile work environment” for black workers “because of their race.”

The complaint, which was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accuses the company of widespread discrimination against black employees that go back as far as 2015, particularly in its factory located in Fremont, California, as well as harassment and retaliatory actions against Black employees who spoke out against the practice.

The suit further alleges that supervisors and managers of the California plant knew about and even witnessed the discrimination but did not do anything to address the issue. Workers also said they reported the incidents, which happened often and openly, to the company’s employee relations team and human resources department but no action was taken either.

Furthermore, more than 200 black workers are also seeking class action status from a judge, alleging that they were subject to a variety of derogatory terms and mocking behavior while working at Tesla, which included slurs like “slave,” “monkey,” “you people,” and worse. The victims claim that the abuse happened daily and became “normal” and “casual,” because management tolerated the behavior.

The EEOC, which is tasked to enforce civil rights laws that prevent discrimination in the workplace, filed the suit after talks with the carmaker did not bear any fruit – Tesla was previously under investigation by the EEOC through a mandatory conciliation process, which was not successful, hence the lawsuit. The agency is seeking a jury trial and damages awarded to the aggrieved parties.

The suit comes on the heels of a ruling made several months ago that awarded $3.2 million to Owen Diaz, a black contractor for Tesla who accused the company of tolerating the racial abuse he experienced during the time he worked there. The incidents against Diaz also occurred at Tesla’s Fremont, California plant.

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