Is NHTSA Getting Ready to Formally Investigate Tesla's Autopilot?
Tesla is facing another lawsuit, this time a class action lawsuit, alleging racial discrimination at its Fremont, California, assembly plant. According to an NBC news report, the electric carmaker has been hit by several prior lawsuits including one alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination on the factory floor. The latest, which has been brought as a class action, claims that African-American workers were targeted by racial slurs and that Tesla did nothing act on their complaints.
Gay and older workers have also accused the automaker of discriminating after a recent mass firing, which is being reviewed by the National Labor Relations Board. The board got complaints that some workers were terminated because they wanted to unionize the San Francisco plant.
Various Complaints of Discrimination
The class action filed by former Tesla worker, Marcus Vaughn, alleges that he was often greeted with the “n-word” both by colleagues and supervisors. He said the company did not follow up on his complaints and then fired him in October for “not having a positive attitude.” Vaughn has been noted in the lawsuit as one of more than 100 black workers at the Fremont plant and is asking for the court’s permission to represent the entire group.
The complaint states that even though Tesla has an image of being a cutting-edge developer of automotive technology, its work environment harkens back to the “pre-Civil Rights era.” It is not clear whether racial tensions and a hostile work environment are playing a part in quality and production problems at the factory. In October, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that 700 Tesla employees were fired for “poor performance.” There have been various complaints of the company discriminating against people for being older, disabled and gay. Tesla has consistently maintained that it doesn’t discriminate against anyone.
What the Law Says
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are prohibited from making any type of employment decision against workers based on race, religion, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. Such decisions include hiring, firing, promotions, training opportunities, etc. Repeated discrimination or harassment creates a hostile work environment for employees – an environment in which they might find it difficult to normally function and be productive.
If you have been the target of discrimination or harassment at the workplace, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages and emotional distress you have suffered. Contact an experienced California employment lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.