A California civil rights organization filed a lawsuit against Tesla this week. They alleged years of racist harassment. Also discrimination against Black workers at the company’s car assembly factory and other locations in the state. In its annual financial report on Monday, the business stated that it was facing this case.
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing claims it conducted a three-year investigation. And received hundreds of complaints from Tesla employees in their complaint, on Thursday.
According to the CIA, it discovered evidence suggesting Tesla, among other things:
-Black employees were getting lowest-paying jobs in the company. Also, White and other coworkers were getting higher salary than them.
-Black workers were denied training and advancements. And discipline rules for them were more harsher than others.
-Within the company’s factories, physically demanding jobs were mostly for black employees.
-Retaliated against Black employees who filed a formal complaint with human resources after supervisors and coworkers used racist epithets in an attempt to intimidate or degrade them.
-Black workers’ complaints about “commonplace use of racist insults on the manufacturing line” were largely ignored.
-“Cleaning up racist graffiti with swastikas and other hate symbols written in communal spaces” moved at an abnormally slow pace.
The agency is asking the court to order Tesla to stop discriminating against Black employees and contractors. And to require Tesla to pay unspecified damages to both the DFEH and the workers who dealt with discrimination. This is essentially to make them whole, or to reinstate wrongfully fired workers.
Statements and Accusations
Tesla stated on its business blog on Wednesday, calling the case “misguided”. And “a story manufactured by the DFEH and a handful of plaintiff firms to garner publicity.”
The DFEH lawsuit focuses on Tesla’s treatment of Black and/or African American employees. But not Latino, Asian, or other employees who have previously filed racial discrimination lawsuits against the corporation in the state.
According to the DFEH, Tesla has no Black executives. Only 3% of professionals at its Fremont automobile manufacturing are African-American. However, Black industrial workers make up 20% of the workforce at the company’s Fremont vehicle assembly plant. This means that Black individuals are “severely under-represented” in higher-paying jobs with more influence in the organization.
Tesla’s annual diversity reports did not include this degree of detail.
Another accusation Tesla faced was of breaking state laws. The law which required employers to provide anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training to employees. As well as investigate and address complaints about all employees, including full-time, contractors, and others.