Tesla has removed wording about having a “majority-minority” workforce in its latest 10-K filing, following recent statements from CEO Elon Musk opposing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives—and a history of allegations of racial discrimination at the automaker’s factories.
In Tesla’s 10-K filing released on Monday, the automaker has changed some of the wording alluding to DEI measures at the company, instead adding a few new paragraphs at the end. The omitted wording from the prior year’s annual report, which can be found near the end of the Item 1, Business section of Tesla’s 10-K filing last year, reads as follows:
“With a majority-minority workforce, empowering our employee resource groups to take charge in driving initiatives that attract, develop and retain our passionate workforce is vital to our continued success.”
Both this and last year’s filings include the same opening line for the section:
“At Tesla, our employees show up passionate about making a difference in the world and for each other.”
However, instead of the “minority-majority” workforce phrasing included in last year’s filing, the 10-K filed this week includes the following language:
“We remain unwavering in our demand that our factories, offices, stores and service centers are places where our employees feel respected and appreciated. Our policies are designed to promote fairness and respect for everyone. We hire, evaluate and promote employees based on their skills and performance. Everyone is expected to be trustworthy, demonstrate excellence in their performance and collaborate with others. With this in mind, we will not tolerate certain behaviors. These include harassment, retaliation, violence, intimidation and discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability or veteran status.”
The filing goes on to mention Tesla’s anti-harassment training and leadership development programs, encouraging employees to speak up about misconduct by contacting the company integrity line, human resources, and managers, or by submitting concerns through the Take Charge process.
You can see Tesla’s full 10-K filing for the fiscal year 2023 here, along with its 10-K released a year ago for the fiscal year 2022 here. Although the “majority-minority” workplace phrasing has been removed from the 10-K filing, Tesla still says this on its website, adding that underrepresented groups represent 67 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce.
Musk and Tesla have also continually emphasized their opposition to racism in the workplace in response to allegations of discrimination over the years. Musk has instead recently made several statements on X calling DEI initiatives racist, even noting in December that he thinks “DEI must DIE.”
“The point was to end discrimination, not replace it with different discrimination,” Musk added.
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” are propaganda words for racism, sexism and other -isms.
This is just as morally wrong as any other racism and sexism. Changing the target class doesn’t make it right!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2023
Earlier this month, Musk reiterated his opposition to these programs, saying that “DEI is just another word for racism.”
Discrimination on the basis of race, which DEI does, is literally the definition of racism
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 3, 2024
Musk has also opposed what he terms the “woke mind virus,” which he has criticized several times over the past few years.
Yeah, we have a lot to fix. The Internet is infested with the woke mind virus.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 11, 2024
Tesla has also faced multiple court cases alleging racial discrimination in the past, each of which the company and Musk have denied.
One such case included the high-profile trial of former contracted elevator operator Owen Diaz, who was denied his appeal by a judge in October for a third re-trial after being awarded $137 million by a jury in 2021. Diaz had worked at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, in 2015, and a second jury last April awarded him a $3.2 million verdict after he rejected a lowered settlement of $15 million from the first trial.
In a lawsuit in California in 2022, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) accused Tesla of operating a “racially segregated” workplace at the Fremont factory, to which the automaker responded by denying the claims and filing a formal complaint against the agency.
Earlier this month, Musk paid a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and to a symposium opposing the rise of anti-semitism organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA), after X faced advertising boycotts and heavy criticism when Musk liked and replied to an anti-semitic post in November.
“I’m sorry for that post. It was foolish of me,” Musk said in an interview following the incident. “Of my 30,000 posts, it might literally be the worst and dumbest post I’ve ever done. I think over time it’ll be obvious that I’m far from anti-semitic.”