Tesla Says California Intends to Sue the Company
Tesla says the lawsuit appears focused on activity at its Fremont, Calif. plant.
On Wednesday, Tesla revealed that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) intends to file a lawsuit against it. The lawsuit alleges systematic racial discrimination and harassment based on a three-year investigation. Tesla says the suit "appears focused" on alleged misconduct by production associates at the Fremont, Calif. Tesla plant between 2015 and 2019.
"It therefore strains credibility for the agency to now allege, after a three-year investigation, that systematic racial discrimination and harassment somehow existed at Tesla. A narrative spun by the DFEH and a handful of plaintiff firms to generate publicity is not factual proof," the announcement said.
A number of lawsuits have put Tesla's working conditions under the spotlight. In November 2021, Former Tesla employee Jessica Barraza came forward with a lawsuit alleging "rampant sexual harassment." Less than a month later, Michaela Curran, Alize Brown, Jessica Brooks, Alisa Blickman, Samira Sheppard and Eden Mederos also came forward with lawsuits, citing sexual comments and other forms of harassment.
Prior to the sexual harassment lawsuits, former Tesla employee Owen Diaz won a $137 million lawsuit in October for discrimination during his employment from 2015 to 2016. In May 2021, Business Insider reported that a Black former Tesla employee was awarded $1 million after alleging company supervisors called him a racial slur.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has not publicly addressed the lawsuits. However, Tesla's Wednesday announcement noted that the company has "always disciplined and terminated employees who engage in misconduct."
"Tesla strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated Employee Relations team that responds to and investigates all complaints," the announcement said.
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