When Tesla filed a complaint against the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), accusing the agencies of rushing to file lawsuits against businesses without conducting investigations in early June, it expected to come out on top based on its findings. However, the OAL threw out that complaint in mid-August, a new report states.
Back in February, the DFEH, which changed its name to the Department of Civil Rights (DCR) last month, filed a lawsuit against Tesla, accusing the company of rampant racism at its Fremont, California factory. Instances of this racial abuse first occurred as early as 2012. However, the spotlight on the case was highlighted late last year when a Judge ordered Tesla to pay former worker Owen Diaz a $137 million penalty based on racial abuse at the factory. The amount was reduced significantly to $15 million in 2022, and Diaz and Tesla will head back to court in March 2023.
Tesla was not happy about the lawsuit or the payout. In June, Tesla officially filed a complaint against the OAL and DCR, claiming the two agencies of rushing to file lawsuits against the automaker without conducting proper investigations. This followed an April request from Tesla to pause the lawsuit as the DCR “has been asked on almost 50 occasions by individuals who believe they were discriminated against or harassed to investigate Tesla.”
“On every single occasion, when the DFEH closed an investigation, it did not find misconduct against Tesla. It therefore strains credibility for the agency to now allege, after a three-year investigation, that systematic racial discrimination and harassment somehow existed at Tesla. A narrative spun by the DFEH and a handful of plaintiff firms to generate publicity is not factual proof,” Tesla wrote.
Reuters is now reporting that the OAL has officially thrown out the challenge, stating the agency’s decision “in no way reflects the merits of Tesla’s complaint.”
Tesla felt the DCR could have investigated the claims made against the automaker before filing the lawsuit. Considering the DCR received nearly 50 complaints and never found misconduct against Tesla, it is interesting that the challenge from the automaker was thrown out.