Tesla has been sued by a California civil rights agency, alleging that Black employees have experienced racial discrimination and harassment while working at a factory in San Francisco.
According to Courthouse News Services, “The 39-page complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) claims that Tesla's marketing of its vehicles to “environmentally conscious, socially responsible” buyers “masks the reality of a company that profits from an army of production workers, many of whom are people of color, working under egregious conditions.””
The lawsuit includes that Black workers are segregated in the factory, only comprising 20 percent of the employee directory.
Slurs and stereotypes were repeatedly used against Black workers at Tesla from managers and supervisors, and some employees claimed that they would hear these harmful terms and statements almost up to 100 times a day.
According to Courthouse News Service, “The complaint further asserts that swastikas, slurs and racist messages are “etched onto walls of restrooms, restroom stalls, lunch tables and even factory machinery.””
More claims mentioned in the lawsuit were that duties and forms of discipline were more harsh towards Black workers compared to their white counterparts.
"After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers, DFEH 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,” said Kevin Kish, the agency's director, in a statement. “The facts of this case speak for themselves. DFEH will continue to take steps to keep workplaces free of harassment and racism."
Tesla came out with an opposing statement, saying that the complaints were “misguided.” “Tesla has always disciplined and terminated employees who engage in misconduct, including those who use racial slurs or harass others in different ways,” the statement said. “Tesla continues to seek to provide a workplace that is safe, respectful, fair, and inclusive — all of which are vital to achieving our mission.”