Tesla was hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming that their production facilities are a “hotbed for racist behavior”.
The lawsuit was filed in California by African-American workers who say that racial slurs were used to address them and that the company ignored their complaints.
Former Tesla employee Marcus Vaughn seeks permission from a judge to sue on behalf of more than 100 African-American Tesla workers affected at the company’s Freemont factory, Bloomberg reports.
Vaughn says that he was routinely called the “n-word” by supervisors and coworkers after he began working at Tesla in April. He also says that while he complained in writing to human resources, they never investigated his claims. Vaughn was fired in October for “not having a positive attitude”.
The former Tesla employee is now seeking unspecified damages as well as an order for Tesla to implement policies to prevent and correct harassment.
“Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric car revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla factory is pre-Civil Rights era race discrimination,” the employee said in the complaint, filed Monday in California’s Alameda County Superior Court.
According to the same complaint, Elon Musk had sent an email to Tesla factory workers on May 31. “Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group,” Musk wrote in the email. “Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize. In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology.”