Friday, 14 December, 2018

Tesla is a 'hotbed for racist behavior,' class-action lawsuit claims

Chris Helgren  Reuters                       A Tesla electric vehicle charger is seen on a river bank at the edge of a parking lot in Kitchener Ont. Oct. 13 2017 Chris Helgren Reuters A Tesla electric vehicle charger is seen on a river bank at the edge of a parking lot in Kitchener Ont. Oct. 13 2017
Nellie Chapman | 15 November, 2017, 01:50

In the legal complaint, Vaughn v. Tesla the Superior Court of California, alleges that Tesla workers, including managers, routinely used derogatory and discriminatory language against African-American workers.

The lawsuit is the 3rd filed this year against Tesla alleging racial discrimination at its Fremont, California, factory.

In the lawsuit, former employee Marcus Vaughn, who said he was sacked from the Palo Alto electric auto maker for "not having a positive attitude", claims supervisors and co-workers called him the n-word, but his written report to HR about it drew no investigation.

Vaughn's attorneys, Bryan Schwartz and the California Civil Rights Group, maintain that, despite both verbal and written complaints to upper management and Human Resources of race-based harassment at the Tesla factory in Fremont, the company failed to take appropriate action to stop the pattern and practice of racist harassment of current and former African-American employees.

A former Tesla worker is suing the auto company, alleging he was called the n-word and describing the Northern California factory as a "hotbed for racist behavior". After filing a written complaint with human resources, Vaughn was sacked last month for "not having a positive attitude".

The lawsuit alleges that employees and supervisors regularly used the "N word" around Marcus Vaughn, who worked at the California facility earlier this year. It is the first such suit to seek class-action status.

Tesla has yet to issue a statement regarding the impending lawsuit.

Shares of Tesla closed down 2.1 percent on Tuesday afternoon following news of a civil rights lawsuit against the automakers.

Tesla has 33,000 employees worldwide, and approximately 10,000 of them work at the Fremont, Calif. assembly plant, according to Bloomberg News.

Tesla did not comment on the suit, but earlier this summer, on May 31, Musk sent an email to employees saying that "part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group".

In February, an ex-employee named AJ Vandermeyden filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company, stating she had been the victim of repeated instances of sexual harassment and that she was paid less than her male counterparts. "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologise".

"In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology", Tesla's C.E.O wrote in an email.

Tesla has denied those claims as well.