Tesla to Undergo Fresh Trial in Race Bias Lawsuit Days After Former Employee Turned Down Compensation

Elon Musk's Tesla is facing a series of lawsuits involving alleged widespread race discrimination and sexual harassment.

Tesla to Undergo Fresh Trial in Race Bias Lawsuit Days After Former Employee Turned Down Compensation

Tesla and lawyers for Diaz did not immediately respond to requests for comment

Highlights
  • Tesla is facing a series of lawsuits
  • A jury last October awarded Diaz $137 million (nearly Rs. 1,070 crore)
  • Tesla and lawyers for Diaz did not immediately respond

A federal judge in California on Monday ordered a new trial on the damages Tesla owes to a Black former factory worker who accused the company of race discrimination, after he turned down a $15 (nearly Rs. 120 crore) million award.

The US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco granted Tesla's motion for a new trial a week after the former elevator operator, Owen Diaz, said he would not accept the judge's award.

Tesla and lawyers for Diaz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A jury last October had awarded Diaz $137 million (nearly Rs. 1,070 crore), one of the largest verdicts ever in a discrimination case involving a single worker. Orrick in April said Tesla was liable to Diaz for discrimination, but he said the award was excessive and lowered it to $15 million.

Diaz's lawyers said last week that the lower award was unjust and undermined his constitutional rights. Orrick did not set a date for the new trial, but scheduled a conference for July 12.

In his 2017 lawsuit, Diaz alleged that his colleagues and a supervisor at Tesla's Fremont, California, assembly plant subjected him to a hostile work environment that included racist slurs, caricatures and swastikas.

Tesla is facing a series of lawsuits involving alleged widespread race discrimination and sexual harassment at the Fremont factory, including one by a California civil rights agency.

This month, a Tesla shareholder filed a lawsuit accusing the company's chief executive, Elon Musk, and board of directors of neglecting worker complaints and fostering a toxic workplace culture.

Tesla has denied wrongdoing and says it has policies in place to prevent and address workplace misconduct.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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