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

Mae Love
November 14, 2017

More than 100 black people are seeking permission from a judge to file a class action lawsuit and are hoping to implement policies preventing discrimination at Tesla.

"Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla factory is pre-Civil Rights era race discrimination", Vaughn's complaint to the court reads. Vaughn's employment was later terminated for "not having a positive attitude" after he complained to human resources about the issue. In the legal complaint, Vaughn v. Tesla Inc.in the Superior Court of California, alleges that Tesla workers, including managers, routinely used derogatory and discriminatory language against African-American workers.

Almost one-third of Tesla's workforce, about 10,000 employees in all, is based at the Fremont plant that houses three product lines: the Model S battery-sedan, the Model X battery-SUV, and the new Model 3.

This is the third lawsuit levelled against Tesla this year for alleged racist incidents in California. He also claimed he was passed over for promotions because he complained to HR, according to Business Insider.

The company denied the claims and said the decision was based on employee performance reviews.

Brian Snyder / Reuters Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk waves as he leaves the stage after speaking at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, July 15, 2017.

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Former Tesla employee Marcus Vaughn who worked at the company's Fremont, California factory claimed in a lawsuit that black workers were racially profiled at the company.

In February, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk told the website Gizmodo that an employee who wrote a blog post criticizing the company was "paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union".

Tesla has already battled lawsuits alleging the company discriminates against homosexual and elderly workers. "In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologises, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept the apology". "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize". Moran stated that other employees were also considering unionizing and had reached out to UAW for help.

"Tesla is not doing enough".

"When you have a diverse workforce, you need to take steps to make sure everyone feels welcome in that workforce", he said.

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