Tesla responded to a lawsuit earlier this week alleging that the company is a «hotbed of racist behavior» that denies a culture of harassment and widespread discrimination at the electric car maker’s headquarters.
A former Tesla employee claimed Monday that racism is widespread at the company’s factory. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Marcus Vaughn, who worked at the company’s Fremont plant, and claims that his colleagues and supervisors regularly used the word N around him.
«Although Tesla stands out as a pioneer in leading the electric car revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla plant is racial discrimination before civil rights,» Vaughn said in a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court in California.
Tesla countered the allegations with a statement entitled «The boiler of misinformation» , which emphasizes that employees must take an anti-discrimination course and that prior steps have been taken to investigate racist behavior «in or near Marcus Vaughn’s team». This led to the dismissal of three employees.
The statement also claims that there are a number of false statements in the process. Tesla says Vaughn left the company because his six-month temporary contract was terminated, not because he was fired. The company also questions the intent of the lawyer who filed the lawsuit:
«The prosecutor who filed this lawsuit has a long history of extorting money for unfounded claims and using the threat of media attacks and the costly costs of the lawsuit to get companies to settle. At Tesla, we would rather pay the settlement request ten times in legal fees and fight to the ends of the earth than give in to extortion and allow this abuse of the legal system. «
Tesla includes an e-mail sent by Elon Musk in May 2017, entitled «Do the right thing», in which the CEO tries to solve the problem that employees are «smart» with each other. I have included a copy of it below.
This week’s trial comes as Tesla faces a different set of allegations of aggression at its Fremont plant. In September, the US National Labor Relations Council (NLRB) filed a complaint against Tesla, supporting the demands of intimidation and harassment workers within the company for those who want to join a union . This was followed in October by protests in front of the factory.