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Tesla ordered to pay over $130 million to Black former worker over racism -WSJ

Stock MarketsOct 05, 2021 03:26AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The TESLA logo is seen outside a dealership in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., April 26, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) -A federal jury on Monday has ordered Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc to pay more than $130 million in damages to a Black former worker, finding he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The jury determined that the company failed to take reasonable steps to prevent Owen Diaz, a contract worker who was employed as an elevator operator at Tesla's Fremont factory in 2015 and 2016, from being racially harassed, the newspaper said.

In a message to employees that Tesla posted on its website, the automaker noted the trial concerned racial slurs heard on the factory floor and racist graffiti in the bathrooms.

It also said the three times that Diaz complained about harassment, Tesla stepped in and made sure action was taken by staffing agencies.

The jury awarded Diaz $6.9 million in compensatory damages and $130 million in punitive damages, according to the newspaper.

"While we strongly believe that these facts don't justify the verdict reached by the jury in San Francisco, we do recognize that in 2015 and 2016 we were not perfect," Tesla said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters query asking if it would be appealing the verdict. Diaz's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Before the trial began, presiding judge William Orrick rejected efforts by Tesla to exclude one juror from the jury, saying he believed the attempt was based on race and "purposefully discriminatory."

Tesla said in its blog post that since Diaz worked at the Fremont factory it had made changes including the establishment of teams dedicated to investigating employee complaints and to ensuring employees had equal opportunities at the company.

Last year, the electric carmaker disclosed in its first U.S. diversity report that Black employees make up just 4% of Tesla's American leadership roles and 10% of its total workforce in the country.

Tesla ordered to pay over $130 million to Black former worker over racism -WSJ
 

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Comments (10)
Raymond Pasillas
Raymond Pasillas Oct 05, 2021 11:08AM ET
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No more than 100k. Now companies will be scared to hire black people.
Nison Kay
Nison Kay Oct 05, 2021 11:08AM ET
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american dream is to sue someone and get rich. that's what I said to someone today no one will hire a minority anymore.
Raymond Pasillas
Raymond Pasillas Oct 05, 2021 11:05AM ET
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I mean 130 million. Cmon. Everyone wants to steal your money in this world.
Raymond Pasillas
Raymond Pasillas Oct 05, 2021 11:04AM ET
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All this causes companies to go all automation and phase out workers.
Nison Kay
Nison Kay Oct 05, 2021 5:11AM ET
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this is disgusting. this sets a bad precedent. now everyone will sue for racism and become a millionaire. now no one will hire minorities to avoid this problem. pure disgusting.
Fabrizio Fusaro
Fabrizio Fusaro Oct 05, 2021 2:41AM ET
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They produce a bunch of cars for idiots rich kids that can afford to hold a charger at home and don’t neef to travel. The CEO destroys the environment it was supposed to save by usless turist space flights. The organization models looks like old slavery system. Still people talks about Tesla saving the world 🤨
William Bailey
William Bailey Oct 05, 2021 2:23AM ET
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Tesla deliveries are not sales … suckers
Carl Hunt
Carl Hunt Oct 05, 2021 2:00AM ET
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live in peace my brotha- Mr. Diaz put some respect on his name 130m worth lol
Steven Kilgore
Steven Kilgore Oct 05, 2021 12:36AM ET
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Well, that’s going to get tossed ln appeal.
JaMocha Shauntavius Tyson
JaMocha Shauntavius Tyson Oct 04, 2021 11:20PM ET
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I fail to see how one man was damaged to the tune of over $130,000,000.00.   That is excessive and tacky and should be overturned on appeal and dismissed entirely.
Sean Livingstone
Sean Livingstone Oct 04, 2021 11:14PM ET
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Discrimination is bad, but $130 million? How about those Asians that were assaulted? Maybe Asians deserve 1.3 trillions?
Nison Kay
Nison Kay Oct 04, 2021 11:14PM ET
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100 trillion
 
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