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Lawsuit Alleges Tesla Factory Is 'Hotbed for Racist Behavior'

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Reuters

An African-American employee, who was working for Tesla before getting fired, accused the automaker of being racist towards people of color.

An October lawsuit over racial discrimination also described a work environment where racial slurs were common.

"The law doesn't require you to have a thick skin", said Larry Organ, an attorney at the California Civil Rights Law Group, who was contacted by Vaughn after the law firm sued Tesla on behalf of other African-American employees who complained about racial harassment.

They also claim the company's facility in Fremont, Calif., is a "hotbed for racist behavior".

A former Tesla worker is suing the vehicle company, alleging he was called the n-word and describing the Northern California factory as a "hotbed for racist behavior".

The harassment centers around Vaughn and other co-workers being called the "N" word by co-workers and supervisors, and then when they complained about it in writing to management and to CEO Elon Musk, either nothing was done or they faced "backlash", the suit claims.

"Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla factory is pre-Civil Rights era race discrimination", the lawsuit says.

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Vaughn is alleged to have sent a memo to Musk and members of the human resources department, claiming that a colleague, Tim Cotton, was subject to even worse abuse. His lawsuit seeks unspecified damages under a California anti-discrimination law. A crucial detail is that workers at the Fremont plant have not unionized, though Bloomberg says the United Auto Workers have an ongoing campaign to make that happen.

Tesla is also reportedly facing lawsuits alleging discrimination against gay and older employees, but it has denied those claims.

Brian Snyder / Reuters Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk waves as he leaves the stage after speaking at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, July 15, 2017.

Tesla responded to the lawsuit by saying that it takes 'any and every form of discrimination or harassment extremely seriously'.

The lawsuit included an internal email from Musk to Tesla employees on May 31, with the exec weighing in on workplace misbehavior.

"In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology", Tesla's C.E.O wrote in an email.

Overloaded with such allegations and lawsuits, Tesla is prepping to launch its semi truck on Thursday of this week.

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