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Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Employment Law / EEOC Files Federal Lawsuit Against Tesla Alleging Discrimination Against Black Employees

EEOC Files Federal Lawsuit Against Tesla Alleging Discrimination Against Black Employees


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit against Tesla in September of 2023 alleging that the company engaged in harassment and discrimination of Black employees. The complaint was filed in California following an EEOC investigation of Tesla’s treatment of Black employees. The EEOC alleges that Tesla violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the lawsuit, Tesla subjected Black employees to racial abuse, stereotyping, and other forms of hostility including racial slurs at its Fremont, California manufacturing facility. The EEOC contends that Tesla violated federal law by “tolerating widespread and ongoing racial harassment of its Black employees and by subjecting some of these workers to retaliation for opposing the harassment.” The lawsuit mentions retaliation against Black employees who opposed actions that constituted unlawful employment discrimination.

The lawsuit alleges that Black employees were subjected to racial slurs which were casually used in high-traffic areas. Employees who spoke out about the conduct were retaliated against by supervisors at the manufacturing plant. Employees claim they suffered changes to their job duties and schedules, unjustified write-ups, terminations, transfers, and more.

The EEOC is asking that Tesla pay affected employees back pay and issue an injunction preventing future racial harassment and discrimination.

Hostile work environment lawsuits

 Hostile work environment lawsuits are a special type of discrimination lawsuit. In a hostile work environment lawsuit, an employee or employees allege that they were subjected to an ongoing course of treatment that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This treatment can include instances of discriminatory jokes, being subjected to racial slurs, and being subjected to offensive symbolism and imagery. To win a hostile work environment lawsuit, you must allege that the offensive conduct was pervasive, permitted by supervisors and managers, and negatively impacted your ability to perform your work. The harasser need not be a supervisor or manager. The harasser can be a coworker or even a customer. Employers are expected to protect their employees against such forms of discrimination and can be sued when they fail to intervene on an employee’s behalf. This intervention can take the form of writing up an employee who engages in discriminatory misconduct, firing an employee who engages in discriminatory misconduct, or transferring an employee who engages in discriminatory misconduct. The employer must address the matter in a proactive fashion to ensure that the misconduct does not occur on an ongoing basis. Once it does, the employee can file a hostile work environment lawsuit against their employer.

In this case, Tesla is accused of not only permitting discriminatory misconduct but actually retaliating against employees who reported the misconduct. This is also illegal. Tesla may have to pay these employees large sums of money to settle the discrimination claims against it.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Racial Discrimination Attorney Today 

The Tampa, FL employment law attorneys at Florin Gray represent the interests of employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace. If you have been subjected to repeated harassment, slurs, or other forms of discriminatory misconduct, call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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