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California Sues Tesla for  Race Discrimination and Harassment

On February 10, 2022, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEHannounced a suit against Tesla, Inc. alleging racial discrimination against Black employees, including segregation to the lowest levels of the workforce.

The DFEH contends Tesla turned a blind eye to extensive Black worker complaints of near-constant racist language and graffiti, including swastikas and other hate symbols.

The suit seeks monetary and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief to prevent future violations.

DFEH district director Kevin Kish commented, “After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers and a nearly three-year investigation, DFEH found evidence that Tesla operates a racially segregated workplace where Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay and promotion.”

The company denies the allegations: “Tesla strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated Employee Relations team that responds to and investigates all complaints.  We also have a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team whose work is shown in this public report.  Tesla has always disciplined and terminated employees who engage in misconduct …. Above all, Tesla continues to seek to provide a workplace that is safe, respectful, fair, and inclusive – all of which are vital to achieving our mission.”

The suit illustrates why employers should correctly train management and workers to prevent, detect and document resolution of all forms of unlawful or inappropriate harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

For further information, please contact Tim BowlesCindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
April 15, 2022

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