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Tesla: A Hotbed of Racism

A class action lawsuit is filed after employee was forced to endure racists comments, not the first to complain

Kris LaGrange's picture
Nov 14, 2017

While Elon Musk tries to portray himself as the goofy, genius, billionaire inventor, more and more allegations are coming to light about what it is really like to work at his companies and they aren’t pretty.

Tesla was recently in the news after they fired a number of employees who were organizing a union with the United Auto Workers (UAW). Tesla has also recently been hit with sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuits as well as being accused of discriminating against older employees and gay workers. Now the company is facing a class action lawsuit for fostering a discriminatory work environment against African American employees.

The case, which is being led by former employee Marcus Vaughn, alleges the Freemont plant was a hotbed of racism. In the lawsuit, he alleges that he was frequently greeted by fellow co-workers and even supervisors calling him the n-word. He says that he filed multiple complaints and that management failed to take any action. He was then fired for not having a positive attitude. Vaughn asked the judge to let his case become a class action on behalf of the 100 black employees. One-third of Tesla’s employees work at the Freemont Plant.

Other complaints against the company include one employee who was mocked for wearing “gay tight” clothing. That employee was then fired after he was injured. He claimed the company told him “no place for handicapped people at Tesla.” Another employee, a female engineer, is currently in a judge ordered arbitration with the company over her claim that she was sexually harassed and discriminated against because she was a woman.

As more and more of these stories come out, it becomes clearer why Tesla’s employees are talking to UAW about joining. While Musk goes on TV claiming to be a progressive tech voice, it is clear that the company still has the same problems that many other companies face. If Musk can’t deal with this, his only choice will be to let UAW come in.

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