USA: Tesla faces class-action lawsuit in California state court over allegations of racial discrimination

On 13 November 2017, a class action lawsuit was brought against Tesla involving allegations of racist behaviour that involved alleged unfair dismissal of employees. This follows accusations of other discriminatory behaviour towards gay and older workers. The plaintiffs are relying on Californian anti-discrimination law to address the 'racist behaviour'. 

Tesla has responded alleging that there is some confusion in the case the plaintiffs have brought, and denying any form of racist or discriminatory behaviour, emphasisng that the company takes any complaints very seriously.

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6 August 2018

Former Tesla employees accuse co. of antigay harassment, age discrimination & failure to pay wages in lawsuit

Author: Trudy Ring, The Advocate

"Blockbuster Suit Against Tesla Alleges Antigay Harassment and More", 1 August 2018


Three former employees of Tesla’s energy sales division have filed a lawsuit alleging antigay harassment, age discrimination, failure to pay them for all hours worked, and retaliation for complaining about working conditions and fake sales accounts created by other employees... In the suit (...) one of the employees, Andrew Staples (...) alleges that he was subjected to repeated antigay harassment by a supervisor from another department... Staples says he complained to numerous managers, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, but no disciplinary action was taken... Ray, who was terminated last year at age 59, alleges age discrimination, also banned by California law... Both men and a third plaintiff, Anqunetta White, say they complained to the company about “fake potential sales accounts” created by other employees... Their termination by the company was retaliation for their complaints, they say... Regarding the lawsuit (...) a Tesla spokesperson provided The Advocate with the following statement: “The plaintiffs’ roles were eliminated last year when, as part of Tesla’s integration with SolarCity, we decided to close our door-to-door sales channel for energy products, and the suggestion that they were eliminated for any other reason is false. Tesla is absolutely against any form of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment of any kind by or against anyone. After examining the timecards of applicable employees, Human Resources confirmed that employees were paid properly and invited them to submit a list of unpaid hours if they disagreed, so we could review it and confirm proper payment. The one hourly plaintiff never identified any hours for which she was not paid.”

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14 November 2017

Hotbed of Misinformation

Author: Tesla

Tesla is absolutely against any form of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment of any kind. When we hear complaints, we take them very seriously, investigate thoroughly and, if proven to be true, take immediate action.

Everyone at Tesla, without exception, is required to go through an anti-discrimination course. Our human resources team also conducts regular in-person spot training sessions when an allegation or complaint has been made, even if the evidence is not conclusive enough to warrant disciplinary action. We have also created a dedicated team focused exclusively on investigating workplace concerns, recommending corrective actions and assisting managers with implementing those actions.

Regarding yesterday’s lawsuit, several months ago we had already investigated disappointing behavior involving a group of individuals...After a thorough investigation, immediate action was taken, which included terminating the employment of three of the individuals. We believe this was the fair and just response to the facts that we learned.

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13 November 2017

Tesla hit by class-action lawsuit claiming racial discrimination

Author: Daniel Weissner, Reuters (UK)

U.S. automaker Tesla Inc on Monday was hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming its California production plant is a "hotbed for racist behavior." The lawsuit filed in California state court in Oakland is at least the third filed this year by black workers who say they were addressed using racial slurs and that the company ignored their complaints.

...Monday’s the first to bring those claims on behalf of a large class of black workers at the automaker’s Fremont, California factory.

...The company is also facing lawsuits accusing it of discrimination against gay and older workers. It has denied those claims.

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