Tesla Hit with Black Workers’ Class Certification Motion

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Tesla Hit with Black Workers’ Class Certification Motion

Tesla Hit with Black Workers’ Class Certification Motion

Monday, June 5, 2023

Tesla Hit with Black Workers’ Class Certification Motion

240 Workers Testify that N-Word, Swastikas, and Other Racism Common at Fremont Factory

For Immediate Release: June 5, 2023

Bryan Schwartz, Esq. (510) 444-9300

Larry Organ, Esq. (415) 302-2901

Matthew Helland, Esq. (415) 277-7235

OAKLAND, CA– Today, Black workers at the Tesla Fremont factory took a step forward in their class action seeking to hold the automaker accountable for rampant race discrimination and harassment they face every day at Tesla’s Fremont plant, moving for class certification. After the California Supreme Court’s rejection this Spring of Tesla’s most recent effort to avoid facing the class action lawsuit, the workers mobilized, with 240 individuals providing sworn statements. The workers’ declarations describe a factory workplace filled with the frequent use of the N-word, along with many other racist epithets and unavoidable racist graffiti, like Nazi swastikas.

“Though Tesla brands itself as futuristic, these and other centuries-old forms of anti-Black racism are so endemic at the Fremont factory that many workers refer to it as ‘the Plantation,’ or ‘the Slave Ship,” the certification motion states. According to evidence gathered by the workers, there may be 6,000 or more members of the class, which continues to grow each year that Tesla permits the racist work environment to fester.

Plaintiffs’ certification motion outlines Tesla’s many efforts to delay justice for the workers, refusing to cooperate with court orders and regular rules of litigation. “The race harassment at Tesla’s Fremont factory is egregious and continuing, and the Black workers, our clients, are still suffering,” stated one of Plaintiffs’ lead counsel, Bryan Schwartz. “We cannot afford to wait, under these circumstances, when our theory of the case remains clear – that Tesla allowing widespread use of the N-word and other horrific racism is just not okay, period,” he added.

“We have been fighting to hold Tesla accountable for years for the racist conduct at its Fremont factory. How many more Black workers have to be called the N-word for Tesla to finally take effective steps to stop use of the N-word?” said Larry Organ, of the California Civil Rights Law Group, co-lead counsel with Schwartz and Matthew Helland of Nichols Kaster.

Plaintiffs are seeking a public injunction and declarations from the court to require Tesla to stop the racist Fremont factory conditions, and compensatory and punitive damages for the class members, who have worked at Tesla, either directly or through staffing agencies, from November 2016 to the present.

The lawsuit is Alameda County Superior Court Docket No. RG17882082.

About the First Named Plaintiff Marcus Vaughn

Plaintiff Marcus Vaughn began working at the Tesla Factory on April 23, 2017 as a General Assembly Associate. Shortly thereafter, employees and supervisors began targeting him for harassment on the basis of his race, including referring to him with the “N-word” on a regular basis. On July 21, 2017, Mr. Vaughn complained in writing to Human Resources and Elon Musk about the hostile work environment. Tesla did not conduct an investigation into Mr. Vaughn’s complaint, nor was he interviewed about his serious allegations of racism at the Tesla Factory. Instead, Tesla terminated Mr. Vaughn on October 31, 2017 for “not having a positive attitude.”

About California Civil Rights Law Group

The California Civil Rights Law Group, led by prominent trial attorney Larry Organ, is dedicated to furthering the cause of employee civil rights throughout the state. Larry’s firm previously won the landmark $136.9 million race harassment jury verdict against Tesla in Diaz v. Tesla. The legal team has made it its priority to provide help to those who need it the most, and specializes in representing plaintiffs in matters involving race, sex and disability harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

About Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C.

Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. is dedicated to continuing the struggle for civil rights and equality of employment opportunity and helping Americans from every background to achieve their highest career potential. The firm has recovered tens of millions of dollars for tens of thousands of workers in individual, class, and collective actions involving discrimination and retaliation, harassment, denied disability accommodations, whistleblower reprisal, wage and hour violations, Federal employees’ rights, and severance negotiations.

About Nichols Kaster, LLP

Nichols Kaster’s lawyers and staff are dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of people who corporate America and its institutions have treated unfairly. From workplace discrimination, wage theft, and 401(k) mismanagement to discrimination in the schools and healthcare system, Nichols Kaster has a track record of zealous advocacy with compassion for its clients, built over nearly 50 years.

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