Tesla accused of ‘racial segregation’ at California factory

“After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers”a Californian state agency responsible for investigating civil cases filed a complaint on Wednesday, February 9, against the American car manufacturer Tesla for “racial segregation”.

(…) The DFEH (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing) found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont factory is a racially segregated workplacesaid Kevin Fish, the director of this agency, in a press release. “Black workers [y] face racial slurs and discrimination in terms of job duties, discipline, pay and promotion, creating a hostile work environment. The facts in this case speak for themselves.”he added.

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The DFEH emailed excerpts from the complaint filed Wednesday afternoon in a California court, while Tesla had already communicated in the morning on its lawsuits, before they were confirmed. “Tesla stands firmly against all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated employee relations team to respond to and investigate all complaints”assured the group in a press release, which mentions a three-year investigation, relating to facts that supposedly took place in the Fremont factory between 2015 and 2019.

“All day, every day, black or African-American employees hear racial slurs about black workers, from other employees, bosses and managers”report the complaint. She cites numerous examples of rare verbal abuse, including the “n-word” [le mot qui commence par n]for “nigger” (“nigger”), a banned term for white people in the United States.

“Generalized racial harassment”

“Because the factory is racially segregated, factory workers called areas where many African Americans worked the porch monkey station [qu’on peut traduire par “la zone des singes qui ne foutent rien”]mentions the complaint. An employee was told by collaborators and bosses shut the fuck up, nigga and all black people look alike”, continue the lawyers. A black worker heard these kinds of insults up to 50 to 100 times a day. »

The complaint points out that black employees were assigned to physically more difficult tasks than others in Tesla factories, that they were more easily fired for minor violations and were much less frequently promoted. “For many black workers, the stress of widespread racial harassment, the risk of physical altercations with harassers, blatant discrimination, disproportionate discipline and inaction in the face of complaints have made their working conditions so intolerable that they resigned”details the complaint.

Several employees and ex-employees of the group led by billionaire Elon Musk have filed complaints in recent months to denounce cases of sexual harassment or racial discrimination within the company.

In October, a Californian jury condemned Tesla to pay 137 million dollars (approximately 118 million euros) in damages to a former black employee for turning a blind eye to the racism he suffered in this same group factory. .

“Tesla has always taken disciplinary action and terminated employees for professional misconduct, including those who slur racially or harass others in other ways”assured the group in its press release Wednesday, which also mentions its team in charge of diversity, equity and inclusion. The company intends to ask the court to stay the proceedings to ensure that all the facts and evidence are taken into account. The automaker, which also insists that it is the last one still installed in California, says it regrets that the DFEH did not send it the details of the charges on which its lawsuits are based.

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The World with AFP

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