Tesla Fremont Factory in Trouble for Racial Discrimination, Harassment

11 Feb, 2022 14:48 IST|Sakshi Post

Tesla has previously faced discrimination lawsuits from its employees.

San Francisco: The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DEFH) has filed a complaint against Elon Musk's Tesla, alleging racial discrimination and harassment at the company's Fremont factory.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that the regulatory agency has received many complaints about workplace concerns at Tesla's Fremont facility.

"After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers, DFEH found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont factory is a racially segregated workplace where Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay, and promotion, creating a hostile work environment," the agency’s director, Kevin Kish, said in a statement.

Tesla stated in a blog post that the lawsuit is the result of a three-year study during which the DFEH – whose job is to safeguard employees – "has never once raised any concern about current workplace practises at Tesla."

"Rather, the lawsuit appears focused on alleged misconduct by production associates at the Fremont factory that took place between 2015 and 2019," according to the electric vehicle company.

"Tesla strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated Employee Relations team that responds to and investigates all complaints," it added.

Tesla is also California's last remaining automobile manufacturer.

The plant in Fremont employs a majority of minorities.

"At a time when manufacturing jobs are leaving California, the DFEH has decided to sue Tesla instead of constructively working with us. This is both unfair and counterproductive, especially because the allegations focus on events from years ago," Tesla stated.

Tesla formally relocated its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, in December.

Musk has stated that the Gigafactory Texas will cost over $10 billion to build and will eventually employ 20,000 people.

Tesla has previously faced discrimination complaints from its employees.

Tesla was sued by an African-American woman for disregarding her racism and physical stress at the company's California location.

According to Insider, Barker claimed in her lawsuit that Tesla neglected to handle racist harassment directed at her by a coworker and retaliated against her when she sought to report the abuse.

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In a statement, Barker claimed, "I was violated physically, mentally, and emotionally because I am an African-American lesbian."

A federal court in California ordered Tesla to pay about $137 million in damages to a Black former employee who claimed he was subjected to racial harassment while working at a manufacturing plant in Fremont last year.

Owen Diaz, a former contract elevator operator at the factory from 2015 to 2016, also claimed he was harassed.

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