Tesla was ordered to pay $137 million in damages to a former black worker, who accused the company of refraining from racial discrimination and abuse in the factory of the company's EV in Fremont California, US USA

A San Francisco federal court jury granted the sentence and was possibly one of the highest in an individual case of employment for racial discrimination. The unfortunate event occurred with Owen Díaz, an elevator operator who worked as a hired employee in 2015 and 2016.


In the lawsuit, it was alleged that the discrimination came “straight from the Jim Crow era” and that Tesla employees left swastika designs, racist graffiti and also offensive caricatures around the company. At the same time, the lawsuit claims that supervisors neglected the abuse.

According to the lawsuit, "Tesla's progressive image was a facade covering her regressive and humiliating treatment of African American officials."

The jury awarded Diaz $6,9 million for the pain the situation caused and $130 million for punitive damages against Tesla. “It's great when one of the richest corporations in America has to have a calculus of the horrible conditions in their factory for blacks,” emphasized Díaz's lawyer, Lawrence Organ. 

“It took four long years to get to this point,” Díaz told New York Times and commented to the newspaper that “it is as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders”.

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In response to the verdict, Tesla downplayed the allegations through a blog post which was written by VP of Human Resources Valerie Capers Workman. “In addition to Mr. Díaz, three other witnesses (all not employed by Tesla) testified at the trial that they regularly heard racial slurs (including the N-word) on the Fremont factory floor,” he said.

According to her, “although everyone agreed that the use of the N word was not appropriate in the workplace, they also agreed that they most often thought the language was used in a 'friendly' way and generally by African-American colleagues. ”.

In addition, Tesla also added that he responded to Diaz's complaints, firing two contractors and suspending another. In a statement said the “wasn't perfect” in 2015 and 2016 and that “we've come a long way”. 

Source: Engadget

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