Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Tesla Faces 3rd Lawsuit Alleging Racial Harassment By Fellow Employees

Tesla Faces 3rd Lawsuit Alleging Racial Harassment By Fellow Employees

Only months after workers at Tesla's Fremont, Calif. auto plant complained about grueling work conditions, the electric vehicle manufacturer is once again at the center of a labor controversy.

Inverse just uncovered the details of a class-action lawsuit, the third this year, that accuses Musk's company of subjecting employees to racial discrimination and harassment.

In October, a former employee named Jorge Ferro filed a wrongful termination suit, alleging that not only did he suffer racial discrimination, but also taunts for being gay, including threats of violence.

United States automaker Tesla Inc on Monday was hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming its California production plant is a 'hotbed for racist behavior'.

Vaughn's suit claims Tesla employees and supervisors continue to make racist comments and engage in racist behaviour - including routine use of the N-word - and little is done to stem the harassment.

'Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric auto revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla factory is pre-Civil Rights era race discrimination, ' Vaughn's lawsuit read.

The lawsuit alleges that employees and supervisors regularly used the "N word" around Marcus Vaughn, who worked at the California facility earlier this year.

Apart from the lawsuits, Tesla is also facing heat from the UAW. After filing a written complaint with human resources, Vaughn was sacked last month for "not having a positive attitude".


Vaughn's lawsuit is seeking class-action status and unspecified damages under California's anti-discrimination law.

Brian Snyder / Reuters Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk waves as he leaves the stage after speaking at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, July 15, 2017.

A trio of former employees made similar claims in a lawsuit filed against the company in October.

Shares of Tesla closed down 2.1 percent on Tuesday afternoon following news of a civil rights lawsuit against the automakers.

Adding insult to injury is an email Elon Musk sent to factory employees on May 31, per Bloomberg.

"Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group", wrote Musk. "In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept the apology". "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologise".

Overloaded with such allegations and lawsuits, Tesla is prepping to launch its semi truck on Thursday of this week.

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