Economy

Class-action lawsuit filed against Tesla, claiming racial discrimination

Class-action lawsuit filed against Tesla, claiming racial discrimination

Vaughn's lawsuit is seeking class-action status and unspecified damages under California's anti-discrimination law.

A racial discrimination lawsuit, filed Monday in California Superior Court in Oakland, said black employees were addressed by racial slurs and company management ignored their complaints.

A former Tesla employee is accusing Tesla of racial discrimination at its Fremont, California, factory.

A lawsuit filed by a former employee on Monday alleges that USA automaker Tesla Inc.'s California production plant is a "hotbed for racist behavior" where black employees were called racial slurs. Last month, UAW filed a complaint with a federal labor board on behalf of Tesla employees that were allegedly laid off because they support the union. He started working at Tesla in April and has filed written complaints to the human resources team, none of which were investigated. The complaint, Vaughn v. Tesla Inc.in the Superior Court of California, alleges that Tesla workers, including supervisors, regularly used derogatory and discriminatory language against black workers.

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Almost one-third of Tesla's workforce, about 10,000 employees in all, is based at the Fremont plant that houses three product lines: the Model S battery-sedan, the Model X battery-SUV, and the new Model 3. The lawsuit followed another one in October, when three employees made similar claims against the company.

NEW YORK - DEC 14, 2016: Tesla CEO Elon Musk is seen in the lobby of Trump Tower on December 14, 2016, in New York.

During the latest earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk informed that the company fired over 700 workers for low performance.

"Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of a historically less represented group", Musk's email reads. "In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology". An October lawsuit over racial discrimination also described a work environment where racial slurs were common. "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize". Lawyer Larry Organ told Bloomberg News that Vaughn reached out to him after the group sued Tesla on behalf of other employees. "It's somewhat akin to saying 'stop being politically correct.' When you have a diverse workforce, you need to take steps to make sure everyone feels welcome in that workforce", he explained.


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