According to the suit, Black employees at the plant encountered consistent racial harassment, including threats, graffiti, and racist symbols, from 2015 onwards.
The lawsuit, filed in Oakland’s federal court, claims that these incidents happened so frequently that employees described them as “constant” and “too many times to count.”
Furthermore, the suit reportedly alleges that Tesla retaliated against employees who voiced their concerns about this racial mistreatment. These retaliations reportedly included terminations, transfers, or changes in job responsibilities.
The EEOC’s lawsuit accuses Tesla of neglecting to address or investigate these racial misconduct complaints adequately. It also alleges that Tesla failed to implement sufficient policies to prevent racial harassment at its Fremont facility.
The EEOC, responsible for safeguarding Americans’ civil rights at work, initiated its investigation into Tesla after Chair Charlotte Burrows alleged the company violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act prohibits employers from creating a hostile work environment based on race and retaliating against employees who oppose harassment.
Interestingly, Tesla had previously disclosed in April 2022 that the EEOC was investigating them. Moreover, the company also faces another lawsuit from California’s civil rights agency, which claims Tesla ignored rampant racism against Black employees not only in Fremont but also at other sites.
Additionally, earlier this year, a San Francisco federal jury ordered Tesla to compensate a Black former employee with $3.2 million after he triumphed in a racial harassment lawsuit. Notably, this award was significantly less than the $15 million the employee had initially sought in a previous trial.
As of now, Tesla has yet to publicly comment on these allegations.
[Source: USA TODAY]