More than 4,000 former and current employees of Tesla Inc., a company that makes electric cars and founded by billionaire Elon Musk, are suing the company for racial discrimination, in the biggest case of its kind ever registered with the Department of Employment and Fair Housing. California, in the United States. The information is from the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
According to the report, workers at the Fremont, Calif., plant often heard racially motivated name-calling, were segregated, were given heavier menial tasks and had difficulty getting promoted.
A former employee said that white and Latino colleagues used offensive terms, while those of Asian origin made “chicken jokes” for an existing stereotype about black Americans. She said racial slurs were “the norm, the Tesla tradition.”
Also according to the account of this former employee, black workers occupied “the most unpleasant and uncomfortable area” of the factory. For her, Tesla promotes “modern day slavery” and “we are the crabs in the barrel.”
The former Tesla employee said she was given a previously “four-man” role to perform alone, and when she complained, she was told by her boss: “‘Do the job or lose your job.
Another worker who used to work at Tesla echoed similar criticisms, saying that after complaining about homophobic and racist slurs, she was reassigned to a more strenuous journey.
She said a large part of her job was to lift up to 100 heavy packages a day without assistance, while white, Latino and Asian employees could do the same job in pairs.
To the Los Angeles Times, Tesla disputed the former employees’ reports and said they had not made complaints to the company about episodes of racism.
“Race plays no role in any of Tesla’s job assignments, promotions, compensation or discipline,” the company’s lawyers told the paper. “Tesla prohibits discrimination in any form.”