Tesla shares have dropped more than 2 percent after news broke of a civil rights class-action lawsuit being filed against the company.
The suit, filed on behalf of more than 100 black current and former employees of a Tesla plant located in Fremont alleges that a racist culture existed at the plant and despite knowing about it, CEO Elon Musk did nothing to prevent it.
Earlier this year, black workers at the plant sent an email to head office, making it clear that racist behavior was going on:
“One worker] spoke up and said he didn’t like when associates say N— on the line. It made him and a lot of us on the line feel uncomfortable. Since that day there has been so much backlash from him getting hit in the back of the head with a chair, to him getting called bipolar, sensitive, people say n—- just to get a reaction out of him….
I just hope whoever reads this does something about it before someone on my line snaps, and someone gets hurt.”
Well, wishful thinking, as absolutely nothing has been done about it. In fact, CEO Elon Musk, appears to not even care when it comes to the behavior of workers at his plant, as seen in an email response he sent:
“Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group,” Musk wrote in the email.
“Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize. In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes,
it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology.”
This is far from the first legal trouble that Tesla has found themselves in, as earlier this year they were sued by an assembly line worker who claimed that the company did nothing to prevent fellow employees from harassing him. Last year, a woman also sued the company alleging that they did little to prevent pervasive harassment from other employees.
Tesla is yet to respond to the news of the lawsuit.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca