[San Francisco, CA] A San Francisco federal jury has ruled that Tesla pay a staggering $3,175,000 in damages for racial discrimination against Owen Diaz. Mr. Diaz alleged he experienced racist incidents while working as an elevator operator at the Fremont Assembly Plant, including hearing people use derogatory language and seeing offensive graffiti and cartoons in bathrooms on site.
This is the second trial in the case, as a federal judge had thrown out a previous award of $137 million in damages as excessive. The judge had offered Diaz $15 million instead, but Diaz opted for a new trial, which resulted in the $3.1 million award.
Tesla has denied the charges of widespread racism and harassment at the plant but has acknowledged the existence of some problems. A separate case brought by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is ongoing.
Valerie Capers Workman, who was Tesla’s Vice President, People at the time of the original verdict, wrote in a blog post that the company recognized it was not perfect and had come a long way in addressing employee concerns. Workman, who is Black, has since left Tesla.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated in a tweet that had the court allowed his company to present new evidence at their retrial, “the verdict would’ve been zero.”
He also mentioned admiration for the jury’s decision on the Tesla racial discrimination case despite the limited information given. The organization has constantly stressed its dedication to ensuring no workplace discrimination occurs and is adamant about taking any worker complaints seriously.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to racial discrimination or harassment in the workplace, it’s a serious matter that demands action. Don’t suffer in silence — reach out to Labor Law Advocates today for passionate and dedicated legal representation.
Our experienced California employment lawyers are committed to fighting for justice and holding companies accountable for their actions. Take the first step towards standing up for your rights by contacting Labor Law Advocates now.