🚗 Musk Faces New Round of Complaints
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a finding against Tesla for alleged civil rights discrimination, including systemic race discrimination, hostile work environment, and pay equity claims. Tesla has denied the claims, but “will now engage in a mandatory conciliation process with the EEOC,” notes Law360. If they fail to come to a conclusion, the agency can take the suit to federal court.
According to a filing by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (DFEH), this case closely mirrors a civil complaint filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the electric car company last February, which is currently awaiting a retrial after the near $140M settlement was contested after being reduced to just $15M.
“Tesla has said in its SEC and court filings that it believes the facts and law do not justify the damages awarded in that case and is assessing its next steps, reports Law360.
Insult upon Injury
The DFEH claims in large part that Tesla has kept its Black workers in lower-level roles and that they have been assigned to more dangerous, demanding, and dirty work in comparison to their white counterparts. Among the complaints being filed, allegations include that Tesla’s Fremont factory is, “racially segregated with white workers referring to it as ‘the slave ship’, or, ‘the plantation’ due to the way Black workers are treated.” And, managers of the same factory have been accused of using racial slurs against employees who have put in formal complaints.
The automaker's response? In addition to denying any claims against them, they’ve called to light the conflict between the EEOC and DFEH that came after they both independently investigated Activision Blizzard over allegations of sexual harassment against female employees back in 2021. They contend that the DFEH is “using litigation as a bullying tactic and to advance its turf war” with the EEOC, explains Bloomberg.
This certainly isn’t the first, second, or last time that Musk’s name and company have laid behind claims like these. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out, and what settlements are granted. May it prompt a call to action for the company to seek a better workplace environment? It’s not looking likely, as Tesla has been fast to deny any and all claims against itself.