Tesla Now Facing Another Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

A former Tesla employee is accusing Tesla of racial discrimination at its Fremont California factory.                  James Martin  CNET

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed November 13 at California Superior Court in Alameda County.

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

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

This is the third lawsuit levelled against Tesla this year for alleged racist incidents in California.

An African-American employee, who was working for Tesla before getting fired, accused the automaker of being racist towards people of color.

It's the first such class-action suit by black workers against the company and claims the California factory is a "hotbed for racist behavior".

The plaintiff in this class-action suit doesn't just want monetary damages - he's also asking Tesla to create preventative and corrective policies to help eliminate future problems. On Tesla's most recent earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk acknowledged that the company recently fired about 700 workers for low performance. Vaughn said he sent complaints to the human resources department, as well as CEO Elon Musk, but was sacked on October 31 for not having a "positive attitude".

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Last month, three African-American contract workers sued Tesla alleging that it permitted racial harassment and discrimination, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In March, Tesla employee DeWitt Lambert claimed the company did nothing about constant racial harassment and sexually explicit comments made towards him by other workers. In August, a judge sent the case to arbitration.

The lawsuit included an internal email from Musk to Tesla employees on May 31, with the exec weighing in on workplace misbehavior.

The growing number of discrimination lawsuits against Tesla come as the company is also facing a unionization campaign from the United Auto 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".

"The law doesn't require you to have a thick skin", Organ said in an interview Monday.

"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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