Tesla has a strong corporate reputation with its customers, who not only value its products but admire its stated commitment to social responsibility and the environment. Unfortunately, its reputation regarding its employees may not be as well deserved.
Last week, former Tesla employee Marcus Vaughn filed a class-action lawsuit claiming racial discrimination, calling the California production plant a “hotbed for racist behavior.”
While this is not the first lawsuit of its kind to plague Tesla – at least two others have been filed this year alone by black workers – it is the first to bring those claims on behalf of a large class of black workers at the Fremont, California facility.
Previous lawsuits have claimed black workers were addressed using racial slurs and that complaints were ignored by the company. Vaughn’s lawsuit makes similar claims, stating he was routinely called the “n-word” by supervisors and coworkers. He alleges he sent complaints in writing to human resources that were never investigated. He alleges he was later fired in October for “not having a positive attitude.”
Obviously, this kind of behavior is unacceptable and should have strong repercussions for Tesla if the claims turn out to be true. Tesla has released a statement refuting many of the claims and stating they took action against three employees after a thorough investigation.
Going up against a company the size of Tesla can be intimidating, but it is doable. If you have faced similar discrimination at your workplace, talk to an experienced employment attorney who can represent you and your coworkers and protect your rights at your place of employment. No employee should ever have to undergo such treatment.