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5 Oct 2021

$130 Million Awarded to Former Black Employee at Tesla

The Index Today

Tesla has been ordered to pay over $130 million in damages to a former black employee over racism charges.

The former employee, Owen Diaz was employed at Tesla’s Fremont factory from 2015 to 2016 as an elevator operator. He was subject to racial abuse and harassment at work which consisted of racial slurs and graffiti as well. Despite several complaints made Diaz, the management did not take reasonable steps to prevent racial harassment at work.

The court awarded Owen Diaz $6.9 million in compensatory damages and additional $130 million in punitive damages. Tesla released a statement saying, “While we strongly believe that these facts do not justify the verdict reached by the jury in San Francisco, we do recognize that in 205 and 2016 we were not perfect.”

Before the trial, it has been reported that Tesla made attempts to exclude a juror from the jury as they believed he would be “purposefully discriminatory.” However, this request was rejected by the sitting judge William Orrick. Since the case, Tesla has introduced new measures in workplaces to prevent racial harassment and abuse. The Fremont factory will also have new investigative teams to look into complaints and issues.

©Photo: Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

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