Tesla must pay $137 million in discrimination lawsuit

Tesla has been ordered to shell out $137 million in damages to a former Black worker who accused the organization of turning a blind eye to discrimination and racial abuse at the company’s EV plant in Fremont California, the Washington Article has claimed. A San Francisco federal court jury awarded the judgement — reportedly one particular of the biggest in an particular person race discrimination employment case — to Owen Diaz, an elevator operator who labored as a deal personnel in 2015 and 2016.

In the lawsuit, Diaz alleged that he confronted discrimination “straight from the Jim Crow period,” in which he was subjected to racial slurs. He alleged that Tesla workforce left drawings of swastikas, racist graffiti and offensive cartoons all around the plant, while supervisors neglected to halt the abuse. “Tesla’s progressive graphic was a façade papering in excess of its regressive, demeaning procedure of African-American workers,” in accordance to the lawsuit. 

The jury awarded Diaz $6.9 million for emotional distress, but the vast majority, $130 million, was punitive damages in opposition to Tesla. “It truly is a wonderful thing when a single of the richest firms in The united states has to have a reckoning of the abhorrent ailments at its manufacturing facility for Black people,” said the law firm for Diaz, Lawrence Organ. 

“It took 4 very long yrs to get to this stage,” Diaz told the New York Times. “It’s like a massive bodyweight has been pulled off my shoulders.”

In reaction to the verdict, Tesla downplayed the allegations in a web site write-up composed by human means VP Valerie Capers Workman. “In addition to Mr. Diaz, three other witnesses (all non-Tesla deal staff) testified at demo that they often read racial slurs (like the N-term) on the Fremont manufacturing facility flooring,” she wrote. “While they all agreed that the use of the N-phrase was not appropriate in the place of work, they also agreed that most of the time they thought the language was utilized in a ‘friendly’ way and usually by African-American colleagues.”

Tesla included that it was responsive to Mr. Diaz’s problems, firing two contractors and suspending one more. She mentioned that whilst the info failed to justify the verdict, the business was “not perfect” in 2015 and 2016, “but we have arrive a extensive way.” The firm has however to say regardless of whether it designs to enchantment.

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