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Tesla countersues CA Civil Rights Department for violating state law

Tesla countersued with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) for violating state law that required the agency to receive public comment before accepting employer investigation and filing procedures. Reuters reported.

Earlier this year, a state agency alleged that black workers were exposed to a hostile work environment at the Fremont factory. Last month, a California judge denied Tesla’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, although Judge Grillo said Tesla could file a lawsuit against the department in June.

Procedures require CRD to disclose details of its investigations to employers and attempt to settle claims out of court before taking legal action, Tesla said.

The Austin-based company is seeking an order barring the agency from following its supposedly illegal procedures as it investigates any employer and wants the agency to pass new rules through a formal rule-making process.

He also asked the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to investigate CRD’s use of illegal policies, but last month the OAL refused to consider Tesla’s petition and did not explain why.

In 2017, former factory worker Markus Vaughn filed a class action lawsuit against the company because his bosses and colleagues allegedly called it racist slurs. Another former employee, Owen Diaz, sued Tesla on similar grounds, and although the jury awarded Tesla a $137 million fine, the amount was reduced to $15 million, which Diaz dismissed.

Earlier this year, Tesla revealed a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The lawsuit follows a three-year investigation in which the DFEH has never raised concerns about Tesla’s workplace practices, the company said.

“Over the past five years, the DFEH has approached the DFEH almost 50 times with a request to investigate Tesla. In each individual casewhen the DFEH closed the investigation, it found no misconduct against Tesla. Thus, the agency’s claim after a three-year investigation that systematic racial discrimination and harassment somehow existed at Tesla is questionable. The story created by the DFEH and several plaintiff firms to gain public attention is not factual evidence,” Tesla said.

Note: Jonna is a shareholder of Tesla and supports its mission.

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Tesla Countersues California Department of Civil Rights for Violating State Law

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