On Thursday, fifteen Black former and current Tesla employees filed a complaint against the electric vehicle manufacturer, claiming they were the targets of racist abuse and harassment in the company’s factories.
According to the lawsuit filed in a California state court, the workers said they were frequently the target of inappropriate, racist remarks and actions by coworkers, managers, and human resources personnel.
The lawsuit added that the automaker’s “standard operating procedures include blatant, open and unmitigated race discrimination” and that the harassment mainly occurred at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory. It alleged that the harassment included using the terms “nigger,” “slavery,” or “plantation,” as well as making sexual remarks like “likes booty.”
According to the lawsuit, some of the plaintiffs were denied promotions or given jobs that required the most physical labor at Tesla.
It claimed that Montieco Justice, a production associate at Tesla’s Fremont factory, contracted COVID-19 due to taking an authorized leave of absence and was immediately demoted upon returning to Tesla.
At least ten lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer, including one from a California civil rights organization, alleging widespread sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
It claims to have measures in place to prevent and resolve workplace misbehavior and has previously denied wrongdoing.
A federal judge in California ordered a new trial on Monday on the damages Tesla is required to pay to a former Black manufacturing worker who claimed the company engaged in racial discrimination after declining a $15 million award.
A Tesla shareholder filed a lawsuit this month accusing Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, and the board of directors of promoting a toxic workplace atmosphere and ignoring employee complaints.