Tesla countersues CA Civil Rights Department for violating state law

Tesla has sued the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) for violating state law requiring the agency to seek public comment before adopting procedures to investigate and prosecute employers, Reuters reported.

Earlier this year, the state agency claimed that black workers were subjected to a hostile work environment at the Fremont Factory. Last month, a judge in California rejected Tesla’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, though Judge Grillo said Tesla could continue its claims against the department in June.

According to Tesla, the proceedings require the CRD to disclose the details of its investigations to employers and seek to settle the claims out of court before filing a lawsuit.

The Austin-based company wants an injunction banning the agency from pursuing its allegedly illegal procedures as it investigates an employer and wants the agency to adopt new rules through a formal regulatory process.

It also asked the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to investigate the CRD’s use of illegal policies, but last month the OAL declined to review Tesla’s petition, not explaining why.

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In 2017, a former factory worker, Marcus Vaughn, filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegedly making racist remarks by his executives and colleagues. Another former employee, Owen Diaz, sued Tesla on similar grounds and although a jury fined Tesla $137 million, the amount was reduced to $15 million, which Diaz dismissed.

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

“Over the past five years, the DFEH has been asked nearly 50 times by individuals who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed to investigate Tesla. on every occasion, when the DFEH closed an investigation, it found no wrongdoing against Tesla. It therefore puts a strain on the agency’s credibility to now claim, after a three-year investigation, that there was some kind of systematic racial discrimination and harassment at Tesla. A story made up by the DFEH and a handful of plaintiffs to generate publicity is not factual evidence,” Tesla said.

Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission.

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Tesla sues CA Civil Rights Department for violating state law

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