Tesla is accused of being a hotbed for racist behavior, according to a class action lawsuit. African American workers say people addressed them using racial slurs and that the company ignored their complaints at Tesla's Fremont, California production plant. Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous, Dan Roberts and Brittany Jones-Cooper breakdown the details.
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SpaceX/Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Updated Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 12:10 a.m. EST: For all of those who were in shock that a company like Tesla could have a racism problem, here’s an update that will surely blow your hair back.Justin T. Westbrook of our sister site Jalopnik reports that included in Vaughn’s complaint is the following quote from an email Tesla CEO Elon Musk allegedly sent to factory employees on May 31:
“Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group,” Musk wrote in the email. “Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize. In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology.”
I guess we black people should just be more thick-skinned and accepting of racism instead of complaining about it. Got it.
What an awesome company policy.
Earlier: A lawsuit filed by a former employee Monday alleges that U.S. automaker Tesla Inc.’s California production plant is a “hotbed for racist behavior” where black employees were called racial slurs. According to Business Insider, this is the third lawsuit filed this year alleging that black workers were addressed using racial slurs and had their complaints ignored by the company. Monday’s lawsuit was filed in a California state court in Oakland by former Tesla employee Marcus Vaughn, and it is the first to seek class action status on behalf of black workers at the company’s Fremont, Calif., factory. Vaughn began working at the Fremont factory in April, and in his lawsuit he alleges that supervisors and co-workers began routinely calling him the n-word shortly afterward. Although he complained in writing to human resources, he says that the company never investigated his claims. In October, Vaughn was fired for “not having a positive attitude.” His lawsuit seeks unspecified damages under a California anti-discrimination law. Tesla is also reportedly facing lawsuits alleging discrimination against gay and older employees, but it has denied those claims. The company did not respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment on the lawsuit Vaughn filed.
In addition to the growing number of lawsuits the company is facing, a unionization campaign by United Auto Workers is underway. Jose Moran—who claimed to be an employee at the Fremont factory—wrote a scathing critique of the facility and his employer, alleging “excessive mandatory overtime” and low wages. He said that he and other employees were considering unionizing and had reached out to UAW for help. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told our sister site Gizmodo that Moran was paid by UAW “to join Tesla and agitate for the union.” Both UAW and Moran denied those claims. Last month, UAW filed a complaint with a federal labor board on behalf of Tesla employees who were allegedly laid off because they support the union. Tesla has denied those claims, too. Read more at Business Insider.
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