RSS Feed

Legal Updates

More Articles: Latest Popular Archives

Tesla worker wins huge payout over racial abuse

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

A black former employee of Tesla in America has won a £101 million payment after suffering “daily racial epithets” including the “N-word”. Mr Owen Diaz faced a hostile and racist working environment and was one of several people to bring a case against the company. Diaz worked as a lift operator at the electric car company’s Fremont factory in California. He told the court that colleagues told him to “go back to Africa” and left racist graffiti in the toilets and a racist drawing in his workspace.

The court found that Tesla did not take reasonable steps to tackle the abuse despite Mr Diaz’s complaints to his supervisors. According to its first diversity report published in December, black employees made up just 4% of Tesla US leadership roles and 10% of its total workforce in the country.

Tesla responded in a blog post on their website saying that they believed the verdict was unjustified. The note to employees from Valerie Capers Workman, VP People went on to say that “The Tesla of 2015 and 2016 (when Mr. Diaz worked in the Fremont factory) is not the same as the Tesla of today. Since then, Tesla has added an Employee Relations team, dedicated to investigating employee complaints. Tesla has added a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team dedicated to ensuring that employees have the equal opportunity to excel at Tesla.”

Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)