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Detailed Accusations of Racial Harassment at Tesla

The New York Times has published a detailed report on accusations of racial harassment at Tesla’s car plant. Owen Diaz, a former contractor at the plant, was one of the employees interviewed for the story. According to Mr. Diaz, there were swastikas painted in the bathrooms and he was subjected to racist taunts throughout the factory such as: “Hey, boy come here,” and “N-------r.” He also found a drawing of an oversized mouth, big eyes and a bone stuck in the patch of hair scribbled over a long face, with “Booo” written underneath. After a supervisor admitted drawing the picture as a joke, Mr. Diaz complained to a manager a message entitled “Racist effigy & drawing.” Mr. Diaz stated that his son, who worked in a different part of the factory, also experienced racially discriminatory behavior.
Mr. Diaz and his son were not the only individuals to perceive harassment. More than two dozen current and former African-American Tesla employees described feeling similar racial discrimination. This discrimination included “threats by co-workers, demeaning assignments, and barriers to advancement.” Currently, there are three lawsuits against the company for racial discrimination. Several other employees interviewed by the Times report being subjected to different treatment than other non-African-American individuals.
Tesla has denied the charges, claiming there is no evidence to support the charges of discrimination or harassment. According to Tesla, several of the individuals identified in the Times’ report were experiencing job performance issues. Tesla made some African-American employees available to the Times and they all stated that their work experiences were positive. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (the state version of the EEOC) has reportedly issued 10 “right-to-sue” letters so far with other complaints still pending within the agency.