United States: a Californian agency accuses Tesla of racial segregation in a factory
Steph Deschamps / February 10, 2022
A complaint was filed on Wednesday and points out, among other things, that black employees were assigned to tasks that were physically more difficult than others in Tesla factories.
A form of segregation. A California state agency filed a complaint against Tesla for racial discrimination on Wednesday, February 9. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing emailed excerpts of the complaint filed late this afternoon in a California court.
The carmaker had already communicated in the morning about its lawsuits, before they were confirmed. Tesla strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated employee relations team to respond to and investigate all complaints, the group assured in a statement, which mentions a three-year investigation, covering events that allegedly took place in the Fremont plant between 2015 and 2019.
After receiving hundreds of worker complaints, the DFEH found evidence that the Tesla plant in Fremont is a racially segregated workplace, said Kevin Kish, the director of the agency charged with investigating civil cases. Black workers (there) are subjected to racial slurs and discrimination in terms of job duties, discipline, pay and promotion, which creates a hostile work environment. The facts in this case speak for themselves, he added.
All day, every day, black or African-American employees hear racial slurs about black workers from other employees, bosses and managers, the complaint states. Because the plant is racially segregated, plant employees referred to the areas where many African-Americans worked as the 'porch monkey station, literally the area of the monkeys who do nothing, it states.
The complaint also states that black employees are assigned to more physically demanding tasks than others at Tesla factories, are more easily fired for minor infractions, and are promoted far less frequently.
For many black workers, the stress of widespread racial harassment, the risk of physical altercations with harassers, blatant discrimination, disproportionate discipline, and inaction in the event of a complaint have made their working conditions so intolerable that they have resigned, the complaint further states.