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Tesla Countersues California Civil Rights Department, Which Is Suing Tesla for Racial Discrimination Tesla called the lawsuit "unfair and counterproductive."

By Gabrielle Bienasz

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images
Elon Musk at a Tesla event in 2015.

Tesla filed a lawsuit against the California agency that sued the company for racial discrimination on Thursday, according to Reuters.

In February, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company, arguing there is a pattern of systemic racial discrimination at its factory in Freemont, California. The agency was renamed the Civil Rights Department (CRD) in July.

Now, Tesla is pushing back against the lawsuit in a countersuit. The EV maker claims the state did not follow the law because it did not seek public comment on how it finds information about and sues companies, and further claims those processes do not follow the agency's requirements that it release investigation details and let employers try to settle before suing.

In a February blog post, the company said the suit was "unfair and counterproductive, especially because the allegations focus on events from years ago."

Tesla added that the department did not find any actual discrimination and that it is "a narrative spun by the DFEH and a handful of plaintiff firms to generate publicity is not factual proof."

Tesla has previously been accused of race and gender-based discrimination in the company.

According to Insider, the company has had 46 publicly viewable lawsuits on these issues related to its Freemont, California factory since 2017 — about four times as many as other plants like Nissan and BMW.

Tesla and California's CRD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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