State of California Joins the Fight Against Tesla’s Racism

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State of California Joins the Fight Against Tesla’s Racism

State of California Joins the Fight Against Tesla’s Racism

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has filed a lawsuit echoing the race harassment/discrimination allegations in Bryan Schwartz Law’s class action against Tesla that we’ve been litigating since 2017, with the California Civil Rights Law Group. We are seeking to represent a class of over 3,000 Black/African-American workers at the Fremont factory.

Many of our clients exhausted with the DFEH over the years, describing constant use of the N-word throughout Tesla’s factory, graffiti like swastikas and KKK symbols, and much more. The agency’s years-long investigation substantiating our claims finally culminated in the new DFEH lawsuit, filed yesterday. The suit documents inadequate responses by the company and its HR department over many years, and goes beyond our suit (focused on Fremont factory production workers), to all Black workers in different facilities throughout California.

Tesla’s public response seeks to suggest that the DFEH’s suit makes allegations about matters that happened in the past – as though the company has improved its treatment of Black workers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite having complaints of racist harassment and discrimination continually over the last 10 years, and most recently, being hit with a $137 million federal court jury verdict for a single worker proving these allegations, Tesla has not improved the work environment.

Tesla brags about its “majority-minority” workforce, but the fact that Tesla employs thousands of Black workers, many in physically-demanding, modest-wage positions, does not excuse the company’s routine mistreatment of these workers. Black workers continue to deal day-in, day-out, with egregious racist harassment and discrimination, the N-word, physical attacks, and much more. As dozens of our clients testified in sworn declarations in court filings a year ago, many workers still call Tesla’s Fremont factory “The Plantation,” or the “Slave Ship,” because of its resemblance to the American South during the era of slavery. Southern plantations that perpetuated slavery were “majority-minority” places, too.

It is shocking that this mega-tech company, presenting itself as the face of the future, with its focus on electric vehicles, solar energy, etc., is perpetuating racism that should be – but is not – a relic of America’s troubled past. Cooperating with the DFEH, we will hold Tesla accountable for its shameful conduct.

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