Tesla factory accused of racial segregation in California – Liberation

A California state agency has sued Tesla for racial discrimination. The electric vehicle manufacturer is accused of “racial segregation” in the workplace.

Insults, altercations… Up to a hundred times a day. A California state agency has sued Tesla, the firm run by billionaire Elon Musk, for racial discrimination, accusing the electric carmaker of “racial segregation” At work. The complaint concerns the factory in Fremont (California), for facts supposedly taking place between 2015 and 2019.

“After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers, the DFEH [Department of Fair Employment and Housing, ndlr] found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont factory is a racially segregated workplace”, said Kevin Kish, the director of this agency responsible for investigating civil cases, in a statement on Wednesday. The man mentions in particular “racial insults and discrimination in terms of tasks, discipline, remuneration and promotion” towards “black workers”. “The facts in this case speak for themselves”he concludes.

The facts in question, described in the complaint, were in part sent by mail in a California court. “All day, every day, black or African-American employees hear racial slurs about black workers, from other employees, bosses and managers”can we for example read.

The complaint cites numerous examples of rare verbal abuse, including the “N-word” (an allusion to the word “Negro” to designate black people), a term that has become unpronounceable by white people in the United States. “Because the factory is racially segregated, factory workers called areas where many African Americans worked the ‘porch monkey station'”literally “the zone of the monkeys who don’t give a damn”she also says.

An employee was told by co-workers and managers “shut up, [N-word]» and “all blacks look alike”continue the lawyers. “A black worker heard these kinds of insults up to 50-100 times a day”, they add. The complaint points out that black employees were assigned to physically more difficult tasks than others at Tesla factories, were more easily fired for minor infractions, and were promoted far less frequently. This “widespread racial harassment” source of stress and altercations, also marked by a “inaction in the event of a complaint”would thus have made working conditions “so intolerable that they resigned”.

For its part, the company stressed in a press release that it opposes “firmly against all forms of discrimination and harassment”. She would also have “a dedicated employee relations team to respond to and investigate all complaints”. In addition, the firm would have “still taken disciplinary action and terminated employees for professional misconduct, including those who slur racially or harass others in various ways”.

Several employees and ex-employees of the group led by Elon Musk have filed complaints in recent months to denounce cases of sexual harassment or racial discrimination within the company. Last October, a Californian jury sentenced Tesla to pay $137 million in damages to a former black employee for turning a blind eye to the racism he suffered in one of the group’s factories. In an article published in December, Release however, detailed how the community of fans enjoyed by the brand could help it recover in the event of scandals.

The company intends to ask the court to stay the proceedings to ensure that all the facts and evidence are taken into account. The automaker, which also insists that it is the last one still installed in California, says it regrets that the DFEH did not send it the specific charges on which its lawsuits are based.


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