*Elon Musk’s Tesla company is being sued once again by multiple employees who say they were harassed and targeted with racist abuse.
According to reports, the suit was filed by 15 current or former workers, all of whom are Black. One of the plaintiffs claims a supervisor referred to him as a “‘zebra’ because he was ‘neither Black nor white.’”
Reuters reports that the harassment occurred mostly at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory. The plaintiffs claim they were subjected to colleagues using the n-word and terms such as “slavery” or “plantation” or making sexual comments.
The filing described one plaintiff being told that “It is rare for Blacks to work here. I don’t know how long you will be able to stay here.”
The newly filed lawsuit also alleges that one employee was demoted after missing work over COVID-19. The complaint comes a few months after a federal judge slashed the $137 million dollars in damages awarded to a former Tesla employee who successfully sued the company last year for racial discrimination.
A San Francisco federal court awarded former Tesla worker, Owen Diaz, 53, about $137 million after he sued the auto-maker, claiming he endured racist abuse working as an elevator operator at the production facility in Fremont, California. He came forward with the allegations in 2018, two years after he reportedly quit his job.
Per CNBC, “the case was only able to move forward because Diaz had not signed one of Tesla’s mandatory arbitration agreements which the company uses to force employees to resolve disputes without a public trial.”
Diaz was awarded more than his legal team requested, $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress, per the report. However, the judge slashed the award from $137 million to $15 million.
The judge ordered a new trial in the case after lawyers for Diaz turned down the $15 million
The automaker is facing at least 10 lawsuits related to widespread anti-Black racism, discrimination, or sexual harassment.
In February, Tesla said the company opposes discrimination and investigates all complaints.
“Tesla has always disciplined and terminated employees who engage in misconduct, including those who use racial slurs or harass others in different ways. We recently rolled out an additional training program that reinforces Tesla’s requirement that all employees must treat each other with respect and reminds employees about the numerous ways they can report concerns, including anonymously,” it said in a company blog.