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Tesla plant workers challenge discrimination

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2019 | Racial Discrimination At Work

While Florida drivers might admire Tesla vehicles for their innovation and luxury, some workers at Tesla’s factory allege that the company’s solar panel factory is beset by racism and discrimination. A number of employees filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York Division of Human Rights. According to reports, the factory is heavily segregated, and black and Latino workers have received worse assignments and are more likely to be laid off.

Reports included the use of serious racial slurs on the job. In one group of 57 layoffs, 80% of the workers let go were considered to be members of racial minority groups. Employees said that workplace discrimination was common in the factory. Some said that when they complained about racial slurs, supervisors would take only ineffective actions, and the racist behavior would continue. Tesla acquired the factory in 2016 when it purchased SolarCity, a rooftop solar-panel company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s cousins. The electric auto manufacturer purchased SolarCity for $2.23 billion and took over operations at the factory.

According to reports, Tesla officials were aware of the discrimination and harassment taking place at the plant and noted that something should be done. However, no action plan was implemented because the company’s executives focused on the auto business, facing challenges with quality issues and international distribution. Workers urged Musk to visit the plant to see the situation for himself and address racial discrimination there, but the CEO’s visit was reportedly postponed.

Workers in even the most well-known, large companies can have their careers and opportunities held back by employment discrimination. Boca Raton, Florida, workplace racial discrimination legal assistance may help workers affected by discrimination to take action and pursue justice.