EEOC hits Tesla with racism allegations

Emre Çitak
Sep 29, 2023

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, alleging that the company has failed to address pervasive racial harassment of its Black employees and has retaliated against those who spoke out against such behavior.

The EEOC's investigation found reasonable cause to believe that Tesla has allowed a hostile work environment to persist, in which Black employees have been subjected to racist slurs, derogatory comments, and other forms of discrimination. Despite employee complaints, Tesla has failed to take adequate measures to address these issues, perpetuating a culture of fear and intimidation for Black workers.

Tesla racism lawsuit
EEOC has filed the Tesla racism lawsuit alleging that the company had a hostile working environment towards black employees

Background of Tesla racism lawsuit

The Tesla racism lawsuit is part of a series of legal actions against Tesla for racial discrimination. In 2022, the California Civil Rights Department also sued Tesla for similar allegations. Moreover, earlier this year, a jury ruled that Tesla must pay $3.2 million in damages to a former Black worker, Owen Diaz, due to severe racial harassment at its Fremont assembly plant.

The EEOC initiated an investigation into Tesla in April 2022, and despite attempting a mandatory conciliation process, no resolution was reached, leading to the filing of this lawsuit.

The Tesla racism lawsuit outlines disturbing incidents of racial harassment against Black employees, including derogatory slurs, stereotypes, and offensive graffiti, such as swastikas and racial slurs, present in various workplace areas. Additionally, supervisors and managers allegedly failed to intervene or address these issues adequately.

Read alsoAmazon racist doorbell: User locked out of devices.

Tesla racism lawsuit
This is not the first Tesla racism lawsuit

Violation of civil rights accusations

Tesla is accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racial discrimination in the workplace and mandates corrective actions and relief for affected individuals.

The EEOC is seeking a jury trial, requesting damages for the aggrieved individuals and fines for Tesla's legal violations. The agency also seeks a permanent injunction to rectify the situation and ensure the protection of Black workers at Tesla in the future.

The Tesla racism lawsuit, titled EEOC v. Tesla, Inc., Case No 4:23-cv-04984, has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Despite these serious allegations and the Tesla racism lawsuit, neither Tesla nor Elon Musk has not issued a statement, as the company disbanded its press department in 2020.


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