Tesla must pay $137 million to a Black employee who sued for racial discrimination
It looks like Tesla will have to pay an ex-employee, Owen Diaz, a whopping $137 million in compensation. That has been determined by a federal jury in a lawsuit that Diaz has filed against the car manufacturer. The Afro-American ex-employee has been structurally the victim of racism in a Tesla factory in the American city of Fremont.
Diaz worked on a contract basis as an elevator operator at the Tesla factory between 2015 and 2016. He told the court that during that period he was confronted daily with racist slogans, including the n-word. In addition, his colleagues are also said to have spread racist graffiti and drawings and swastikas in the factory. After a four-hour consultation, the jury agreed with Diaz. Tesla would not have created a safe work environment for its black employees and executives would have done too little to stop the harassment.
Tesla must now pay Diaz $6.9 million in damages for non-pecuniary damages and a $130 million civil fine on top of that. That amount was determined based on Tesla’s strong financial position. Diaz told the New York Times that he was relieved. “It’s taken four long years to get to this point. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
TOO HEAVY PUNISHMENT
Tesla has responded to the verdict in a blog post and acknowledges that mistakes were made. Nevertheless, the car manufacturer believes that the penalty is far too severe. “While we strongly believe that the facts don’t justify the San Francisco jury’s verdict, we have to recognize that we weren’t perfect between 2015 and 2016. We still aren’t, but we’ve done that for the past five years. steps in the right direction.” The car manufacturer also says it is doing everything it can to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
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