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Tesla ordered to pay USD 137 million by the US Court in racism lawsuit

Tesla ordered to pay USD 137 million by the US Court in racism lawsuit

Tesla Inc., the leading electric vehicle manufacturer, has reportedly been ordered to pay an unprecedented USD 137 million by a jury in a racial discrimination lawsuit. As per sources, a US District Court in Northern California has ruled in support of a former black worker, Owen Diaz, who was racially abused by his coworkers.

According to reliable reports, the federal court determined that the defendant worked in a racially hostile environment and that Tesla failed to take reasonable steps to protect Diaz from being racially profiled.

Apparently, Lawrence A. Organ, Owen Diaz's lawyer, stated that the jury granted him $6.9 million in mental stress damages and $130 million in civil penalties.

Owen Diaz had filed a lawsuit against the automaker, alleging racial harassment whilst working as an elevator operator at the Tesla plant in Fremont, outside San Francisco. Diaz was employed at the facility between 2015 and 2016 when he said he was subjected to discriminatory remarks and nasty graffiti.

Meanwhile, it has been speculated that Tesla is also facing other racial profiling charges apart from the one in question. Previously, Tesla had adamantly denied any knowledge pertaining to the reported discriminatory behavior at the facility, which employs around 10,000 people. 

As per the firm's 2020 report on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Black people make up approximately 10% of the entire workforce, while just 4% were found to be working at leadership positions in American operations.

Earlier this year, the automaker had to cough up more USD 1 million to another black former employee, who had faced similar racial abuse as Diaz at the company. However, the case was resolved through arbitration, according to the company policy on resolving a majority of employee disputes.

Since Diaz was working as a contractor, recruited by a placement company, he was not entitled to arbitration and was able to take the lawsuit to federal court.

Tesla has yet to state whether it would appeal the District Court's ruling. The settlement amount is speculated to be one of the biggest ever paid out in a case of workplace racial abuse.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.