Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States filed a lawsuit against Tesla on Thursday, alleging that Tesla allowed repeated and overt acts of racism towards Black employees at its Fremont, California factory.
According to the lawsuit, non-Black workers used racist slurs often when talking to Black employees in the factory. According to the suit, a Black Tesla employee said that "people used the N-Word constantly, especially men and White men."
The lawsuit also alleges racist taunts, threats and insults. These include death threats in the bathroom as well as racist graffiti on vehicles that were rolling off production lines.
This is not the first lawsuit of this kind
According to the lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, black employees who complained about the behavior faced retaliation. This included reassignment of unpleasant jobs, reschedulings, and firings. The suit also claims that the racial harassment was 'frequent and ongoing', 'inappropriate, unwelcome, and happened across all departments and shifts'.
It is not the first instance that Tesla has been subjected to legal consequences for an alleged racist act in its Fremont factory.
In the early part of this year, Tesla had to pay $3 Million as a result a civil lawsuit brought by a Black Elevator Operator at the Plant who claimed that he was frequently subjected racist abuse. This verdict was issued after a previous $137 million verdict in the case had been thrown out as being excessive by a federal court. In 2022, the California State Civil Rights Agency also sued Tesla for allowing racial abuse at the factory.
Tesla posted a blog post shortly before the California lawsuit was filed in last year denying these allegations. Tesla has always terminated or disciplined employees who have engaged in misconduct. This includes those who use racial insults or harass others.
The EEOC lawsuit claims that the behavior began in 2015 and has continued until now. According to the lawsuit, the EEOC contacted Tesla representatives and invited them to meet with the commission to discuss the allegations. However, Tesla failed to provide a plan that was acceptable to the commission.
Tesla didn't respond to CNN emails that asked if it had any comment or additional information on previous lawsuits, as well as a response to the latest lawsuit.
The lawsuit does not make a specific monetary request, but it asks a jury to order Tesla to compensate alleged victims for their conduct and pay any other damages that may be appropriate.