Discrimination and anti-union claims pile up against Tesla

The technological innovations of Tesla Inc. might intrigue car buyers in New York, but the automaker’s employees have been the source of multiple lawsuits. Three lawsuits originating from black workers accuse the company of racism. The newest lawsuit representing a man formerly employed at a West Coast factory is seeking class-action status. His court filings describe a workplace where supervisors and co-workers routinely used the N-word. The company allegedly ignored his formal written complaint about the racial slurs and then later fired the employee.

Additional legal actions have emerged on behalf of employees who said that they suffered discrimination because of age or sexual orientation. A unionization campaign mounted by the United Auto Workers has been another source of contention between employees and the automaker.

The head of Tesla accused the union of paying a worker to publish a critical blog post. However, the blog’s author and the union have denied that any money was exchanged for the purpose of promoting a union.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from race discrimination. An employee who feels mistreated because of age, sex, race or religion could discuss the issue with an attorney to find out if the workplace might have violated any laws. When evidence strongly suggests unlawful conduct, an attorney could file court papers detailing the discrimination, which might involve wrongful termination, lower pay, poor work hours, demotion or harassment. The lawsuit could seek lost pay and punitive damages. An attorney might pursue a pretrial settlement by communicating directly with the company. Alternatively, an attorney could manage a trial and strive to convince a jury to award damages.

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