Class-action lawsuit filed against Tesla, claiming racial discrimination

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U.S. automaker Tesla Inc hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming its California production plant is a “hotbed for racist behavior.”

The lawsuit submitted in California state court in Oakland is at least the third submitted this year by black employees who informed they were addressed using racial slurs which the company overlooked their complaints.

However Monday’s lawsuit, submitted by former Tesla employee Marcus Vaughn, is the first to bring those lawsuits on behalf of a big class of black workers at the Tesla’s Fremont, California factory.

The automaker is likewise dealing with lawsuits alleging it of discrimination against gay and older employees. It has rejected those claims.

Vaughn in the lawsuit says he was regularly called the “n-word” by supervisors and colleagues after he started operating at the factory in April. He says he complained in writing to human resources officials, but the company never ever investigated his complaint.

Vaughn states he was fired in October for “not having a positive mindset.” He is seeking undefined damages under a California anti-discrimination law.

The growing amount of discrimination claims against Tesla come as the company is also facing a unionization campaign from the United Auto Workers (UAW).

In February, Tesla CEO Elon Musk informed the website Gizmodo that a staff member who wrote a post slamming the company was “paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union.”

The union and the employee rejected that he had been paid by UAW. Last month, the union submitted a complaint with a federal labor board on behalf of ratings of workers who it states were laid off since they support the union.

The company rejected the claims and stated the decision was based on worker performance reviews.

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