Tesla loses the challenge of racial prejudice in California
A California management agency has declined to review Tesla Inc’s claim that the state’s civil rights watchdog suing the company for racial bias at an assembly plant rushed to sue the companies without a full investigation.
The California Administrative Law Office declined in Tesla’s petition letter, filed in June, to determine whether the Department of Civil Rights (DCR) had adopted “secret regulations” that conflict with the requirements it must meet before suing employers.
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The letter obtained by Reuters is dated August 8 but was received by the administration last week.
The OAL, which reviews state agency regulations and can recommend changes, said its decision in no way reflects the merits of Tesla’s complaint.
Management said in a pending lawsuit filed in February that Tesla’s flagship factory in Fremont, California, was a racially segregated workplace where black employees were subjected to harassment and discrimination regarding job appointments, discipline and pay.
A representative of Tesla, which denied any wrongdoing in the racial bias case, had no immediate comment.
A DCR spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The agency was called the Fair Employment and Housing Administration before changing its name last month.
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Tesla’s petition with the OAL was an attempt to curb the department’s authority to pursue discrimination cases by forcing it to take additional steps before filing a lawsuit, such as providing companies with detailed explanations of alleged legal violations and making efforts to settle out of court.
In the pending lawsuit, Tesla argued that DCR filed a lawsuit without first notifying the company of all the claims or giving it an opportunity to settle them.
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A California judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on Wednesday on Tesla’s motion to dismiss the case.
The lawsuit is one of several pending courts in California that accuse Tesla of condoning discrimination and sexual harassment in its factories.
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A state judge in April reduced the jury’s ruling for a black worker alleging racial harassment from $137 million to $15 million. The worker, Owen Diaz, declined the reduced award and opted to conduct a new experiment, which is scheduled for March 2023.