California sues Tesla for discrimination

Elon Musk will still complain that California treats him badly. The billionaire, who left the state in 2021 complaining that taxes were too high and regulations too finicky, now faces a race discrimination lawsuit at the Tesla factory in Fremont, San Francisco Bay. where the majority of its electric cars are made.

Read also Tesla accused of ‘racial segregation’ at California factory

This is not the first time that Tesla Motors has been sued for discrimination, but this time the complaint does not come from isolated individuals but from an official agency of the State of California: the department in charge of equality in employment and housing. Since 2013, this office has had the power to prosecute offenders, in response to the increase in the number of companies requiring job candidates to waive all legal action in the event of litigation.

Less paid, more often sanctioned

In terms of mistreatment, the victims seem to be mostly the African-American workers at the Fremont plant. The lawsuit filed February 9 in Alameda County Superior Court even uses the term ” segregation “. Tesla was built on “a message of innovation, eco-futuristic ambitions and common good”, explains the text. In reality, the manufacturer takes advantage “of an army of workers, most of whom are people of color working in odious conditions”.

Plaintiffs say they found swastikas, Ku Klux Klan initials or reproductions of the Confederate flag in the restroom

The complaint is based on the testimonies of several hundred workers, collected over several years of investigation, between 2015 and 2019. According to them, blacks are paid less than others, more often sanctioned and assigned to the most difficult tasks. physically demanding – they are the only ones who have to scrub the floors on their knees.

They are also exposed to a number of racist insults, not only from their colleagues but also from foremen and managers who do not hesitate to employ “the N-word” (for “nigger”, a taboo word in the United States because it recalls slavery). Some were invited to “return to Africa”.

The plaintiffs say they found swastikas, the initials of the Ku Klux Klan or reproductions of the Confederate flag in the toilets, even engraved on the machines next to a noose (symbol of the lynchings). The neighborhood where mostly black people are assigned is decked out in names reminiscent of the worst times in the past, the document claims: “slave ship”, “plantation”.

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