Tesla sued by EEOC for allegedly racist and hostile work environment

For at least eight years, white Tesla employees have hurled racial slurs at black co-workers inside the automaker’s Fremont, Calif., factory, and the company has refused to stamp out the behavior. lawsuit filed Thursday allegations.

Lawyers for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also claim in the lawsuit that the ongoing racial harassment has created a hostile work environment dating back to May 2015. Black employees regularly hear their co-workers say “monkey,” “boy.” ,” or even use the N-word to address them, the lawsuit alleges. The white employees involved in the behavior range from managers and supervisors to linemen and production workers, court documents allege.

“Black employees also encountered displays of racist graffiti, including swastikas, threats and nooses,” the lawsuit states. “They found such graffiti on a variety of surfaces, including on desks, in elevators and on equipment, including vehicles rolling off production lines.”

EEOC lawyers want a federal judge to award Black Tesla employees back pay and punitive damages, but are not specifying an exact amount in the lawsuit.

“Today’s lawsuit makes clear that no company is above the law, and the EEOC will vigorously enforce federal civil rights protections to ensure that American workplaces are free from unlawful harassment and retaliation,” EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows said in a statement Thursday.

Accusations denied by Tesla

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. The company previously denied allegations of racist comments made by White’s employees. In a 2017 blog post on the company’s website titled “Hotbed of Misinformation”, Tesla stated that it is “absolutely opposed to any form of discrimination, harassment or unfair treatment of any kind.”

The EEOC’s lawsuit comes about two years after a California judge ordered Tesla to pay a former black employee $1 million when he was subjected to racist language at the factory. The employee, Melvin Berry, filed two complaints against his supervisors at Tesla in 2017 after he confronted them for calling him the racial slur and forcing him to work longer hours.

In April, a federal jury indicted another former Tesla employee 3.2 million dollars for racial abuse he suffered. Owen Diaz claimed he was called the N-word more than 30 times, shown racist cartoons and told to “go back to Africa” ​​during his roughly nine-month tenure at Tesla, which ended in 2016.

Tesla also faces a class action by employees of color who claimed they also heard racial slurs.

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