The lawsuit alleges that African-American employees at Tesla’s Fremont factory face regular racial discrimination and harassment.
Tesla is facing yet another lawsuit alleging widespread racial discrimination at its Fremont, California, automobile assembly facility.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, a group of current and former African-American workers claimed they were exposed to racist graffiti and regularly subject to slurs and harassment.
The harassment, writes The Guardian, included the use of the so-called “n-word,” as well as references to “slavery” and “plantations.”
In their complaint, the plaintiffs suggest that Tesla and its management refused to take action even after the alleged violations were reported.
Lead plaintiff Jasmine Wilson, who worked as a quality inspect at the Fremont plant from August 2021 to March 2022, said she was targeted with racial epithets and “cat-calling” from Tesla leads, supervisors, and managers—most of whom seemingly assumed she was a production associate because she was an African-American.
Some of the supervisors, Wilson claims, publicly admonished her for not being on the assembly line or wearing the “right” uniform.
Wilson says she was also sexually harassed by a production associate and two other Tesla employees.
When Wilson tried to report the incidents to Tesla’s human resources department, they purportedly seemed skeptical of her claims, promising an investigation that never materialized.
Mike Arias, an attorney for Wilson and the other plaintiffs, indicated that Tesla has a corrupted workplace culture that actively victimizes African-American employees and contractors.
“It’s hard to imagine a workplace culture that these hardworking people had to endure day after day, having to live through racist comments and abusive behavior,” Arias said. “Hearing story after story of employees being subjected to this level of disgusting and threatening behavior and language is still almost unbelievable.”
Another plaintiff, identified by the Chronicle as Teri Mitchell, claims she was terminated after about a month of work.
In her time at Tesla, Mitchell says that she and other African-American employees were often derided as “Blackies” and “Darkies.”
Mitchell, adds the Chronicle, was hired as a production associate. However, she says in the lawsuit that she received insufficient training and was placed in a section where few other workers could speak or understand English.
When Mitchell, unable to communicate with her colleagues, requested a transfer, a supervisor allegedly told her, “It is rare for Blacks to work here. I don’t know how long you will be able to stay here.”
The lawsuit states that Mitchell was eventually granted a transfer; but one day after she was reassigned to a different section, she found that her access badge no longer worked.
Mitchell was then told that Tesla “no longer needed her.”
The Chronicle notes that it is currently unclear whether any of the workers signed arbitration agreements.