Tesla Charged With Racial Segregation At California Factory

Tesla: The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) charged Tesla on Wednesday with racial segregation in the workplace at one of its factories in the region. The automaker published an official statement, even before the complaint was made, denying all the allegations.

According to Kevin Kish, director of the DFEH, after hundreds of complaints, the department found evidence that Teslas Fremont plant is a racially segregated workplace. “Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in work assignments, discipline, pay and promotion creating a hostile work environment,” he says.

According to the DFEH case, the areas of the factory where most black and African-American employees worked were called the “balcony monkey station” and racist graffiti was left in break rooms, bathrooms and workstations.

According to the testimonies, these graffiti were left for months while managers and supervisors were “active participants and/or witnesses to these racist comments”. They also report that black employees were given more physically demanding jobs for saying they were “better suited” for the role, in addition to being punished more often than non-black colleagues and that promotions were denied — leading to underrepresentation in the company’s management. †

Tesla had already faced a lawsuit for racial harassment and discrimination at the Fremont plant, having to pay $137 million to an employee in October 2021. He denounced the work environment where he heard “daily racist epithets” and was instructed to “ return to Africa” by colleagues.

Tesla’s response

The blog post about the lawsuit anticipated the DFEH’s complaint and said that Tesla “strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated Employee Relations team that responds to and investigates all complaints.”

However, the company has accused DFEH of suing Tesla rather than working constructively with the company as it is the last remaining automaker in California. “This is unfair and counterproductive, especially as the allegations focus on events from years ago,” the company claimed.

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