Keith Dennett For Mailonline and Afp
Tesla has been hit by a racial discrimination complaint from a California agency after it found evidence of “segregation and a hostile work environment” at the electric car maker’s Francisco plant.
According to the complaint, which was filed in a California court late Wednesday night, black workers at Tesla’s Fremont plant were regularly subjected to highly offensive racist slurs and jokes from colleagues and managers.
Kevin Kish, director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), said the agency has received hundreds of complaints from plant workers.
A statement filed on Wednesday claimed one worker heard “racial slurs up to 50 to 100 times a day” while racist graffiti was allegedly found, including Nazi swastikas and references to the Ku Klux Klan.
DFEH “found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont plant is a racially segregated workplace where black workers are racially harassed and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay and promotions,” Kish said in a statement released by Wall Street. Journal and Bloomberg. .
“The facts in this case speak for themselves,” he added.
Tesla released a statement ahead of filing Wednesday saying it “opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment” and is committed to providing a “safe, respectful, fair and inclusive workplace.”
According to the complaint, black workers at Tesla’s Fremont plant (pictured) were regularly subjected to highly offensive racist slurs and jokes by colleagues and managers.
But, according to the DFEH, workers at the factory would be “ridiculed with racist slurs and then embroiled in verbal and physical confrontations” by non-black workers, and they would subsequently face disciplinary action.
The complaint also alleged that workers of color regularly referred to areas where there were many black or African American workers with historical racist names, including “plantation”.
Black slaves were often forced to work on agricultural plantations in North America until the mid-19th century, producing crops including sugar and cotton.
According to the statement, non-black workers at the plant were often given benefits, including being given easier jobs and more leniency in disciplinary proceedings compared to their black counterparts.
According to DFEH, one worker “heard these racial slurs 50 to 100 times a day,” and workers with incendiary racial tattoos of the Confederate flag made them visible to intimidate black employees.
Racist graffiti allegedly seen in a factory toilet included Nazi swastikas, “KKK” in reference to the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan, and “Go back to Africa.”
A statement filed on Wednesday claimed one worker heard “racial slurs up to 50 to 100 times a day” while racist graffiti was allegedly found at the factory (file photo)
According to the statement, racist remarks against black workers included a “monkey on the front porch” and jokes that they “came out from under the hood” and “out of the ghetto”.
“The stress of severe and widespread racial harassment, the risk of physical altercation and escalation with harassers, egregious discrimination, disproportionate discipline and the futility of complaints made the working conditions so unbearable that they quit,” the complaint says. said.
The company, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, has faced several discrimination lawsuits at a California plant in recent months.
However, many do not make it to the courts because Tesla requires its staff members to agree to private arbitration of labor disputes.
In a blog post prior to the filing, Tesla called the lawsuit misguided and said the DFEH “never expressed concern” about its workplace practices after a three-year investigation.
“Tesla has always taken disciplinary action and fired employees for professional misconduct, including those who uttered racial slurs or insulted others in various ways,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.
Tesla said in a statement that the lawsuit appears to be centered on allegations made by manufacturing partners at the plant, who said the misconduct took place between 2015 and 2019.
The report also said he would ask the court to “stay the case and take other steps to ensure facts and evidence are heard.”
“Attacking a company like Tesla, which has done so much good for California, should not be the main goal of a government agency with prosecutorial powers,” the blog says.
It comes just over a week after former Tesla contractor Kylene Barker, who is black and lesbian, filed a lawsuit alleging that the company ignored her complaints of shocking discrimination and abuse while she worked at an assembly plant in Lathrop, California.
The company, owned by billionaire Elon Musk (pictured), has faced several discrimination lawsuits at a California plant in recent months.
“I feel like I was tortured and sent back to before African Americans were civil,” Barker said in a statement, adding that “being a black worker at the famous Tesla plant in California is like stepping back in time.” and suffer painful abuse reminiscent of the Jim Crow era.”
Barker, 25, said she was “physically, mentally and emotionally abused” while working at Tesla because she is an “African-American lesbian”.
The lawsuit, filed Feb. 1 in California Superior Court in Alameda County, alleges that a white co-worker hit Barker with a hot grinder, calling her an N, “stupid,” “stupid,” and “ab***s.” ‘
Although the white co-worker was fired after the incident, Barker claims the man was “shockingly rehired” about two weeks later.
Tesla, which has abolished its press relations department and refuses to speak to the media, did not immediately respond to a request from DailyMail.com on Tuesday morning.
Last October, a California jury awarded former Tesla contractor Owen Diaz (pictured) a $137 million sentence after he sued allegations of racial harassment at a Fremont plant.
In December, six women sued Tesla alleging a culture of sexual harassment at the Fremont plant and other facilities.
The lawsuit comes after a California jury ruled in October that Tesla should pay a former black employee $137 million in damages for turning a blind eye to racism the man faced at the Fremont plant.
Contract worker Owen Diaz said he faced “daily racist epithets” before being laid off at the plant in 2015 and 2016, including the “N-word.”
Diaz said that employees drew swastikas and left racist graffiti and drawings around the plant, and that executives failed to stop the abuse.
Tesla is appealing the verdict and denying any knowledge of racist behavior, which Diaz said took place at the plant, which employs about 10,000 people.
Last year, Musk fell out with authorities over reopening a factory amid coronavirus-related restrictions and threatened to move his headquarters out of state.
Musk subsequently told investors in October that the leading electric vehicle maker was moving its headquarters to Texas, where it was building a plant.
Reports of systemic racial discrimination in the US workplace have become more prevalent since the Black Lives Matter protests broke out in 2020.