Tesla ordered to pay $137 million in discrimination lawsuit

Tesla ordered to pay $137 million in discrimination lawsuit

Tesla’s manufacturing unit in Fremont, California.

James Martin/CNET

Tesla has been ordered to pay practically $137 million in damages in a lawsuit that alleged a Black former worker was subjected to racist abuse, discrimination and harassment on the firm’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California.

The jury within the San Francisco federal court docket on Monday awarded the judgment to Owen Diaz, an elevator operator who labored for the corporate between June 2015 and Could 2016, in line with Bloomberg, which earlier reported on the decision.

Diaz alleged in his 2017 lawsuit that in his time at Tesla, he encountered a scene “straight from the Jim Crow period,” by which he was subjected to racial slurs and informed to “return to Africa.” Diaz’s lawsuit alleged that Tesla workers drew swastikas, left racist graffiti and scratched derogatory drawings of Black kids across the plant. He contended that supervisors did not cease the abuse.

“Tesla’s progressive picture was a façade papering over its regressive, demeaning remedy of African-American workers,” the lawsuit stated.

Diaz was awarded $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional misery, in line with Bloomberg.

“It took 4 lengthy years to get thus far,” Diaz informed the New York Occasions. “It is like an enormous weight has been pulled off my shoulders.”

“It is an ideal factor when one of many richest firms in America has to have a reckoning of the abhorrent situations at its manufacturing unit for Black individuals,” Organ, of the California Civil Rights Regulation Group, informed the Occasions.

Tesla did not instantly reply to a request for remark, however Valerie Capers Workman, Tesla’s vp of individuals, revealed a weblog put up that appeared to downplay the allegations in Diaz’s lawsuit.

“Along with Mr. Diaz, three different witnesses (all non-Tesla contract workers) testified at trial that they commonly heard racial slurs (together with the N-word) on the Fremont manufacturing unit ground,” Workman wrote. “Whereas all of them agreed that using the N-word was not applicable within the office, in addition they agreed that more often than not they thought the language was utilized in a ‘pleasant’ method and often by African-American colleagues.”

The carmaker “strongly” believes the information do not justify the decision, Workman wrote, however acknowledges that the corporate was “not excellent” in 2015 and 2016. “We’re nonetheless not excellent,” she added. “However we’ve got come a great distance.”

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