Electric auto maker Tesla Inc.'s California factory is "a hotbed for racist behavior" toward African Americans that includes the frequent use of racial epithets, a fired worker charged Monday in a state race discrimination class action.
Vaughn's attorneys, Bryan Schwartz and the California Civil Rights Group, maintain that, despite both verbal and written complaints to upper management and Human Resources of race-based harassment at the Tesla factory in Fremont, the company failed to take appropriate action to stop the pattern and practice of racist harassment of current and former African-American employees.
Vaughn's suit is the largest, since he is seeking to make the claim on behalf of at least 100 African-American workers.
In the lawsuit, Vaughn claimed racist abuse from bosses and colleagues was routine, after he started working at the factory in Fremont in April.
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Vaughn's charges come shortly after reports showed that Tesla fired between 400 and 700 people after completing an employee evaluation review in September.
In addition to asking for an order for Tesla to implement policies to prevent and correct the alleged harassment, the employees are seeking unspecified general and punitive monetary damages.
The suit also states Musk sent an email to all employees in May about discrimination and harassment.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Marcus Vaughn, who worked in the Fremont factory from April 23 to October 31. "In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology". An October lawsuit over racial discrimination also described a work environment where racial slurs were common.
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"Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group", Musk allegedly wrote. "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize".
Tesla has already battled lawsuits alleging the company discriminates against homosexual and elderly workers.
"The law doesn't require you to have a thick skin", Organ said in an interview Monday.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China January 26, 2016.
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"Tesla is not doing enough".