September 30, 2022

Tesla Countersues US Civil Rights Agency After Racism Lawsuit

In response to a racial bias case against electric vehicle-maker Tesla, a countersuit action has been put in place against the agency responsible. 

The case filed in state court in Alameda County claims the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) took “underground regulations” in its investigations of Tesla’s factory. 

The most popular vehicle maker said they were not given adequate notice of the claims or time to resolve the dispute, which violates state law. 

As we previously reported, the CRD sued Tesla earlier this year after workers claimed the organization racially segregated Black workers from the rest of the team. Many also spoke up about hearing about 50 to 100 racial slurs a day and being subject to mistreatment, harassment, unequal pay, and a challenging work environment that limited their progression. 

Tesla has since denied all claims stating it “strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment.” 

After a judge rejected Tesla’s attempt to dismiss the complaints, the car manufacturing organization claims the CRD did not seek public comment before adopting procedures for investigating employers. 

This is not the first time the organization has been sued for racial bias. In 2021, a judge ordered Tesla to pay over $100 million in damages to a former employee who sued them for racist abuse, discrimination, and harassment. The jury also asked Tesla to pay an additional $6.9 million for emotional distress. 

Now, they are countersuing the civil rights agency to get them barred from conducting similar investigations into employers as they did with Tesla. 

The complaint will also give Tesla’s lawyers insight into the agency’s practices and details of the investigation they carried out with Tesla, which could help Tesla when attempting to dismiss the original case. 

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.