Tesla Factory Accused of Being a ‘Hotbed’ for Racism

A new lawsuit alleges Tesla's factory floor is a "hotbed for racist behavior." In the suit, former assembly worker Marcus Vaughn, who said he was fired from the electric car maker for "not having a positive attitude," claims supervisors and co-workers called him the n-word, but his written report to human resources about it drew no investigation.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 13 at California Superior Court in Alameda County.

Vaughn's lawsuit seeks certification as a class-action, to bring in current and former African-American Tesla factory workers.

"Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric car revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla Factory is pre-Civil Rights Era race discrimination," the lawsuit alleges. "Race harassment has continued at the Tesla Factory, and became more widespread, because despite their knowledge of the harassment, Defendants have done nothing that could be reasonably expected to stop it."

Vaughn's legal action is the third lawsuit filed this year by black workers alleging racial slurs were used against them and that the company ignored their complaints. It is the first such suit to seek class-action status.

Vaughn claimed in the suit that shortly after he started working at Tesla in April, supervisors and co-workers began targeting him for harassment on the basis of his race. The n-word was used against him "on a regular basis," and he witnessed the use of the slur toward other black employees, he claimed. He said he was fired in October.

His legal complaint included a memo it said was from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to employees. In the reported May 31 memo, Musk appeared to push back against minority workers' grievances.

"Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part...

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