On Monday, Tesla was ordered to pay almost $137 million to a former employee, Owen Diaz, who stated he suffered racial abuse and discrimination at the San Francisco based company.
Diaz worked as an elevator operator between June 2015 and May 2016. He sued the company, alleging a hostile work environment and racial harassment, according to The Washington Post. Diaz also claimed he was called the “n-word” during his tenure at the company.
“The initial suit by Diaz, who is Black, alleged that workers encountered a scene ‘straight from the Jim Crow era,’ where workers were subjected to frequent racist harassment and supervisors took no action,” The Washington Post also reports.
The suit also claimed that “Tesla’s progressive image was a facade papering over its regressive, demeaning treatment of African-American employees.”
Diaz also alleged that employees would draw swastikas and racist graffiti and drawings at the Tesla plant. In his complaint, Diaz alleged supervisors didn’t stop the abuse from occurring.
A judge awarded $130 million for punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress, according to his attorney, Lawrence A. Organ.
“It took four long years to get to this point,” Diaz told the New York Times. “It’s like a big weight has been pulled off my shoulders.
“It’s a great thing when one of the richest corporations in America has to have a reckoning of the abhorrent conditions at its factory for Black people,” Organ, of the California Civil Rights Law Group told the Times, according to KTLA.
It’s unknown if Tesla will appeal the decision.
As you may know, this isn’t the first time a former employee made these allegations.
In May, Tesla was ordered to pay more than $1 million by an arbitrator who alleged they were also called racial slurs by co-workers and supervisors didn’t intervene.
Roomies, what do you think about this situation?