Tesla sued the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) for violating state law that requires the agency to seek public comment before adopting investigative actions and suing employers, Reuters mentioned.
Earlier this year, the state agency alleged that black workers were being exposed to a hostile work environment at the Fremont plant. Last month, a California judge denied Tesla’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, although Judge Grillo said Tesla may pursue its lawsuits against the oath in June.
According to Tesla, the procedures require CRD to disclose details of its investigations to employers and attempt to settle claims out of court before filing a claim.
The Austin-based company is seeking an injunction preventing the agency from following its alleged illegal actions as it investigates any employer and wants the agency to adopt new regulations through a formal rule-making process.
It also asked the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to investigate CRD’s use of illegal policies, but last month, the OAL declined to review Tesla’s petition and did not explain why.
In 2017, a former factory employee, Marcus Vaughn, filed a class action lawsuit against the company because he was allegedly called racial slurs by his supervisors and co-workers. Another former employee, Owen Diaz, sued Tesla for similar reasons, and although the jury awarded Tesla a $137 million fine, the amount was reduced to $15 million, which Diaz refused.
Earlier this year, Tesla spoke about the lawsuit brought by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The company said the lawsuit followed a three-year investigation in which the Treasury never raised concerns about Tesla’s workplace practices.
“Over the past five years, the DFEH has been asked on nearly 50 occasions by individuals who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed to investigate Tesla. for every occasion, when the DFEH closed an investigation, it found no misconduct against Tesla. Thus, the agency’s claim now, after a three-year investigation, that racial discrimination and systematic harassment somehow existed in Tesla, strains the agency’s credibility. “The narrative that the Treasury and a handful of claimant companies have woven to generate publicity is not factual evidence,” Tesla said.
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