Tesla sued by ex-employee after worker says he was fired for reporting race and safety issues

Tesla exhibits its electric cars and energy products at the 2018 LA Auto Show. [Credit: Christian Prenzler/Teslarati]

Tesla is being sued by an ex-employee of the Fremont factory and Gigafactory Nevada after the worker alleges he was fired for reporting racial issues and safety discrepancies at the factories.

Marc Cage, an African American who worked at Gigafactory Nevada and Fremont, first claimed to have reported safety violations that could have resulted in massive explosions at the Nevada plant. Cage also said he also had experienced racial harassment at the Fremont factory from management.

“Tesla’s commitments to unrealistic production goals and frantic efforts to ramp up its production, often to make good on rash promises, overrode any commitment to employee safety,” Cage said in the complaint, which was filed in Alameda County Superior Court last Friday, according to Reuters. “Virtually every restroom in Tesla’s Fremont facility contained writings or carvings of racist symbols and slurs, including swastikas and prominent displays of the n-word.”

Claims of racism in Tesla facilities, especially the Fremont Factory, have been reported more frequently over the past few months. After Owen Diaz was awarded a $137 million judgment following his suit against the California-based automaker, more claims of racially-sensitive behavior by Tesla’s management and shift supervisors have been reported.

Recently, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Tesla for alleged systemic racial discrimination and harassment at the Fremont factory. In a blog post just days before the suit was filed, Tesla stated the DFEH’s lawsuit was “misguided,” revealing that over the past five years, almost 50 complaints from various employees have made it to the State Agency to investigate Tesla. No instances of misconduct were found, Tesla said.

However, the filed lawsuit was made public just days later, on February 9th. Black and/or African American Tesla workers stated they are often the subject of unfair treatment, assigned to “more physically demanding posts and the lowest-level contract roles, paid less, and more often terminated from employment than other workers.” Workers also stated that racial symbols, including swastikas and other insensitive drawings are visible on everything from lunch tables to production equipment.

Cage vs. Tesla, Inc., 22-CV-007293, was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.

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Tesla sued by ex-employee after worker says he was fired for reporting race and safety issues
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