Tesla To Pay $137m To Black Worker Over Racism

Tesla To Pay $137m To Black Worker Over Racism
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A jury in California on Monday ordered Tesla to pay a Black former employee $137 million in damages for turning a blind eye to racism the man encountered at the firm’s auto plant in Fremont, US media reported.

Owen Diaz was hired through a staffing agency as an elevator operator at the electric vehicle maker’s Fremont factory between June 2015 and July 2016, where he was subjected to racist abuse and a hostile work environment, according to the court filing.

In his lawsuit, Diaz said African-American employees at the factory, where his son also worked, were regularly subjected to racist epithets and derogatory imagery.

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Instead of a modern workplace, the plaintiffs “encountered a scene straight from the Jim Crow era,” said the suit, originally filed by Diaz, his son Demetric and a third former employee.

‘Tesla’s progressive image was a facade papering over its regressive, demeaning treatment of African-American employees,’ the court filing said.

Diaz alleged that despite complaints to supervisors, Tesla took no action over the regular racist abuse.

The jury at the federal court in San Francisco on Monday awarded Diaz $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress, Bloomberg News reported, citing one of Diaz’s attorneys, Lawrence Organ of the California Civil Rights Law Group.

‘We’re just gratified that the jury saw the truth and they awarded an amount that hopefully will push Tesla to correct what people testified about in terms of this widespread racist conduct,’ Organ told the Washington Post.

‘It’s gratifying to know that a jury’s willing to hold Tesla accountable, one of the world’s largest, richest corporations finally is told, ‘You can’t let this kind of thing happen at your factory.’

 

AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK

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