author_name|Amrita Khalid Business Company Legal & Law Matters language|en-US provider_name|Engadget region|US site|engadget Society & Culture

Former Tesla contractor refuses to pay $15 million in racial abuse lawsuit

Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator contracted at Tesla’s Fremont assembly plant last year, successfully sued the automaker for creating a hostile, racially abusive work environment, winning $137 million by a jury. That award was reduced to just $15 million by a judge who gave Diaz two weeks to accept or reject the new amount. Aspect reported with Bloomberg, Diaz’s lawyers chose the second option.

“While refusing the court’s excessive reduction by requesting a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to assess what Tesla did to him and to fairly redress the flood of racial insults directed at him.” Statement from Diaz’s lawyers NBC News.

The lawsuit, first filed in 2017, described a work environment in which Black workers were regularly subjected to racial slurs and other abuses, and there was allegedly at least one manager. I’m telling Diaz’s “return to Africa” ​​- problems the company also claims it neglected in addressing. Tesla has pushed back He argued against some of Diaz’s claims, arguing that he took timely action to stop the harassment, and that these racial slurs were used in a “friendly” manner and often by his African-American colleagues. He also argued that he was not responsible for how Diaz was treated because of his contractor status.

last year jury Diaz is likely to have a total of $6.9 million in damages and $130 million in punitive damages. in a corporate racial discrimination case. U.S. District Judge William Orrick, in an opinion he presented in April, argued that Tesla was not responsible for a contract employee, while also reducing the amount of the reward by calling it “excessive”. HE compensation amounting to 1.5 million dollars and punitive damages of 13.5 million dollars. The case will go to a new hearing as Diaz’s lawyers now reject the verdict.

The automaker is also facing another lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on behalf of more than 4,000 former and current Black Tesla employees. According to three former Tesla workers by Los Angeles timesBlack workers at the Fremont plant left, given the toughest assignments and more disciplined than other workers.

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