This has been a year riddled with legal challenges for one groundbreaking automaker that is being sued once again. This time, California automaker Tesla is being accused of employment discrimination based upon its treatment of African-American workers at its local plant. A class-action lawsuit has been filed, claiming that the company did nothing to stop racist abuse in the workplace. 

This lawsuit is at least the third racial discrimination claim against Tesla filed by black workers just this year. However, it’s the first one filed on behalf of a whole group of workers. The individual who initiated the suit has alleged that he was often called by racial slurs, and that reports to human resources did nothing to stop the behavior. He was later fired. The employer gave a lack of a positive attitude as the reason for the firing. 

The company has also been troubled by claims of anti-union retaliation. Many workers claim they were laid off due to their support for unionizing, yet Tesla denies these claims. They maintain that the layoffs were due to employee performance reviews. Other discrimination lawsuits have also been filed. 

An undisclosed amount of damages is sought in the class-action employment discrimination claim. California anti-discrimination law supports a worker’s right to an environment free from racial discrimination. Individuals in the state who have suffered within unfair workplaces may also be considering their options for legal recourse. An experienced employment law attorney may be able to help with an assessment of the case and offer ongoing assistance with any litigation that results. 

Source: Reuters, “Tesla hit by class-action lawsuit claiming racial discrimination“, Daniel Wiessner, Nov. 13, 2017