The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Tesla Inc (Nasdaq: TSLA), alleging the electric carmaker’s complicity in permitting severe harassment of Black employees at its flagship Fremont, California assembly plant.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, claims that from 2015 to the present, Black workers at the Tesla plant have been subjected to racist slurs and graffiti, which included swastikas and nooses.
According to the EEOC, Tesla has failed to investigate complaints of racist conduct adequately and has taken retaliatory actions against employees who reported harassment. This federal lawsuit supplements the discrimination claims brought by the state of California and Tesla employees themselves.
Notably, settlement talks between Tesla and the EEOC broke down after the agency formally raised concerns last year. It is relatively rare for EEOC cases to proceed to trial, as they typically result in settlements.
Tesla currently faces multiple race discrimination lawsuits with similar allegations, including a class-action lawsuit by workers at the Fremont plant and a separate suit by a California civil rights agency. In response, Tesla has consistently asserted that it does not tolerate discrimination and treats worker complaints seriously.
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