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Tesla to pay $ 137 million to racist worker

Tesla to pay $ 137 million to racist worker

Tesla was ordered Tuesday to pay $ 137 million in damages to one of its former employees. The company is accused of turning a blind eye to the racism suffered by the man in a factory of the group.

“They decided on an amount that could serve as a wake-up call for American firms,” ​​said Larry Organ, civil rights lawyer. “Don’t behave in a racist way and don’t let racism continue.”

Insults and disparagement

The complainant, Owen Diaz, worked as a freight elevator operator between June 2015 and July 2016 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. There he suffered racist slurs and a hostile work environment. During the trial, Owen Diaz explained that African Americans working in the factory, including his own son, were regularly victims of racist nicknames and disparagement.

“Tesla’s progressive image was a facade hiding the backward and demeaning treatment” of its black employees, according to the complaint. Owen Diaz claimed that despite complaints to the hierarchy, Tesla had not reacted. The jury in federal court in San Francisco awarded him a total of $ 136.9 million in damages.

“I knew Owen was telling the truth, I just had to prove it” to the jury, the lawyer said. “Normal people see clearly through the bullshit displayed in American boxes.”

Tesla “makes up excuses”

Tesla’s vice president of human resources admitted some of the facts in a statement. “Although we firmly believe that the facts do not justify this decision […], we recognize that in 2015 and 2016 we weren’t perfect, ”said Valerie Capers Workman.

According to her, other employees of the Fremont plant testified to having “regularly heard racist insults”, including the word “nigger” (“nigger”). “Most of the time they thought this language was used in a ‘friendly’ way,” she added. “Our line of attack was that Tesla does not take responsibility,” retorted the lawyer. “They are doing the same thing now: they are making excuses. “

The vice president added that Tesla responded to Owen Diaz’s complaints by firing two contract workers. According to her, Tesla has made changes since 2016 by setting up a human resources team that investigates employee complaints. “We are still not perfect,” read the press release. “But we’ve come a long way in five years. “

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