A black former worker at Tesla who claims he was racially abused every day ay the carmaker’s factory in San Francisco Bay Area has been awarded $137 million payout.
The jury in San Francisco agreed that Owen Diaz was subjected to and hostile environment and racial harassment. Diaz’s lawsuit described the Fremont, California factory as a ‘hotbed of racist behaviour’. He said further that he was racially abused every day including N-word over a period of 11 months from 2015 to 2016.
Diaz was a contracted elevator operator. He claimed that fellow employees drew swastikas as well as left racist graffiti around the factory. One of his supervisors is said to have drawn a person with a black face and a bone in his hair and wrote ‘booo’ which is the short form of Jigaboo. Diaz stated that none of his supervisors stepped in to stop the racial abuse.
This is the second time in the same year that a former employee has won a payout from Tesla in a discrimination case.
The lawsuit said that ‘Tesla´s progressive image was a façade papering over its regressive, demeaning treatment of African-American employees.’
Diaz was awarded $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress. This revelation was made by Lawrence Organ, his attorney to the Washington Post.
The case took four years to finalize.
‘It´s a great thing when one of the richest corporations in America has to have a reckoning of the abhorrent conditions at its factory for Black people,’ Organ, of the California Civil Rights Law Group, told the Times.
Tesla did not reveal whether they intend to appeal the decision. Previously, Tesla denied having any knowledge of the alleged racist conduct at the factory which has approximately 10,000 workers.
Tesla has a mandatory requirement that workers resolve issues using the compulsory arbitration in which the company rarely lost according to Mail Online reports.
Since Diaz was contracted through a staffing agency, de did not have to sign the arbitration agreement.
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