California sued Tesla Inc. on Wednesday over allegations of discrimination and harassment of Black employees at its San Francisco Bay area factory.
The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, was sparked by hundreds of worker complaints, said Kevin Kish, head of the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
The department, which enforces state civil rights laws, “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,” Kish said in a statement reported by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
Here’s one example of the claims in the lawsuit:
Throughout the day, every day, Black and/or African American workers heard Defendants’ workers, leads, supervisors, and managers make racial slurs and comments about Black workers. Examples of the racist language include the n-word, “porch monkey,” “monkey toes,” “boy,” “hood rats,” and “horse hair.” Defendants’ workers, including production leads and supervisors, made references to Black and/or African Americans in racist comments and racist jokes such as “N[ ] word out of the hood,” “from the ghetto,” “Tesla [was] hiring lazy coons,” and “go back to Africa.”
Because the factory was racially segregated, Defendants’ workers referred to the areas where many Black and/or African Americans worked as the “porch monkey station.” Defendants’ workers with tattoos of the Confederate flag made their racially incendiary tattoos visible to intimidate Black and/or African American workers…. Additionally, Defendants’ workers referred to the Tesla factory as the “slaveship” or “the plantation,” where Defendants’ production leads “crack[ed] the whip.”
One Black worker heard these racial slurs as often as 50-100 times a day.
Read more, including the Scribd copy of the filing, at Electrek,
Here’s the DFEH lawsuit against Tesla, and it’s way more serious than the company made it sound
Editing: Erica P. Wissinger
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