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Tesla ordered to pay over $130 million in racism case

dw.com logo dw.com 05/10/2021 Kieran Burke

A US court has ruled in favor of a Black former employee who was subjected to racist abuse by his colleagues, ordering he be paid over $130 million in damages.

Tesla Inc is facing a litany of racial discrimination lawsuits © picture-alliance/newscom/UPI Photo/T. Schmitt Tesla Inc is facing a litany of racial discrimination lawsuits

The US District Court in northern California ordered Tesla Inc to pay over $130 million (€112 million) in damages to a Black former employee on Monday, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal.

Owen Diaz had sued the vehicle manufacturer over the racist abuse he endured while employed as an elevator operator.

Diaz had worked at the company's Fremont factory during 2015 and 2016 and had been subjected to racist slurs, as well as highly offensive graffiti.

A federal jury decided that the automaker failed to take adequate measures to prevent Diaz from being racially abused according to the US publication.

Racial discrimination lawsuits

Tesla is facing a litany of racial discrimination complaints.

In August the company had to pay $1 million to a Black former employee who had been called the N-word by supervisors. The case was settled by arbitration.

There are well over 100 former and current employees who allege they have suffered racist abuse at Tesla.

According to the company's diversity, equity and inclusion impact report from 2020, Black people made up 10% of the total work force, while only 4% could be found in leadership positions at American operations.

Its not yet clear whether Tesla will appeal the court's decision.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Author: Kieran Burke

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