Tesla Slapped With Major Lawsuit In More Trouble For Elon Musk

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Tesla, where infamous billionaire Elon Musk is CEO, has been sued again over claims of racist harassment against its employees. The new case is from fifteen Black individuals who either used to or still work at the company.

The current and former Tesla staff members behind the new case implicate coworkers, management, and human resources personnel in the racist targeting they endured. The lawsuit, filed in a California state court, says the racist abuse was a consistent part of Tesla’s work environment, as Reuters recaps. Most of the harassment unfolded at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory, and sexually suggestive comments were also among what these workers faced. The case alleges Tesla’s “standard operating procedures include blatant, open and unmitigated race discrimination.”

“Some of the plaintiffs were assigned to the most physically demanding posts in Tesla or passed over for promotion, according to the lawsuit,” Reuters summarizes. In another example apparently cited by the case, Tesla employee Montieco Justice was
“immediately demoted” after coming back in to work at the Fremont plant following a company-approved leave of absence connected to coming down with COVID-19, Reuters explains.

At least 10 lawsuits have been filed against Tesla involving claims of systematic racial discrimination or sexual harassment, according to a Reuters summary. A California state agency dealing with civil rights issues is among the entities that have brought lawsuits; the agency in question is California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which brought another case dealing with working conditions — including racist harassment and discrimination — at the Fremont plant. “The agency says it found evidence that Tesla routinely kept Black workers in low-level roles at the company, gave them more physically demanding and dangerous assignments and retaliated against them when they complained about racist slurs,” CNBC summarizes.

In other words: it doesn’t sound as though Musk’s loudly proclaimed public commitment to principles of free speech translates into a remotely inviting work environment at Tesla, a company closely associated with him. That supposed commitment to free speech also strikingly contrasts with a nondisclosure agreement to which a former SpaceX flight attendant is bound in association with a settlement payment SpaceX provided her following a revelation of sexual harassment Musk apparently perpetrated aboard a company plane. Musk denies the claim, although the agreement between SpaceX and the former attendant was reached after a mediation session he reportedly personally attended, suggesting he took the matter more seriously than his perpetually dismissive public approach would imply. Musk, of course, has been pursuing a purchase of the social media platform Twitter, a sought after deal to which he’s supposedly still committed… even as Tesla stock, Musk’s portion of which provides collateral for loans he’s getting for the Twitter deal, sinks rather dramatically.