Tesla faces lawsuit for racial harassment in its factories

Three men claim to have been subject to continuous and repeated racism.

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Swapna Krishna
October 18th, 2017
In this article: tesla, transportation
Jim Tanner / Reuters
Jim Tanner / Reuters

A new lawsuit brought by three former Tesla employees alleges that they were subject to constant racial discrimination and harassment in the electric car company's factories. The case, first reported by the Mercury News, was filed yesterday in the Alameda County Superior Court in California.

The three plaintiffs in the suit are African American. The men describe the repeated use of racial slurs and use of racist drawings by coworkers and superiors. They claim they reported the multiple and repeated incidents to both the staffing agency that hired them and their supervisors at Tesla. One man, Demetric Diaz, believes that his reporting of this treatment to his supervisor led to his eventual firing. Owen Diaz, another plaintiff, left the company after his supervisor neglected to address this treatment.

However, the Tesla spokesman told Mercury News that they had received no communications in regard to racism from these workers. They found one email from Owen Diaz to his supervisor that reported a coworker's aggressive behavior. "That email made no mention of the use of any racist language or epithets," the spokesman said. Additionally, Tesla underlines the fact that these workers were employed by the staffing agency, not the company directly.

This isn't the first that's been brought against Tesla for racial harassment. A man named DeWitt Lambert has a similar case, stating that he was subject to repeated and continuous racial slurs by coworkers. What's more, the company just fired hundreds of workers this week due to poor performance reviews. It's too early to say how this case will go, but it's definitely worth keeping an eye on over the coming months.

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