Fifteen current or former black Tesla employees filed suit against the electric vehicle maker on Thursday, alleging they were subjected to racial abuse and harassment at the company’s production facilities.
According to a lawsuit filed in state court in California, workers said they were regularly subjected to racist comments and behavior from coworkers, managers, and human resources employees.
The harassment, which primarily took place at Tesla’s Fremont factory, included the use of words such as “nigger” (considered a highly derogatory way of referring to black people in the United States) and “slave”, as well as Sexual comments such as “likes ass,” according to the lawsuit.
In addition, the automaker’s “standard operating procedures include explicit, explicit and sustained racial discrimination,” the allegation states.
According to the document, some of those employees and former employees were hired into physically demanding positions at Tesla or passed over for promotions.
According to the allegations, Monticello Justice, a production worker at the automaker in Fremont, was immediately demoted upon returning to Tesla after taking an authorized leave of absence because of Covid-19.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The automaker faces at least 10 lawsuits for widespread racial discrimination or sexual harassment. One is headed by a civil rights agency in the US state of California.
The company previously denied wrongdoing and said it has policies in place to prevent and address workplace misconduct.
On Monday, a federal judge in California ordered a reconsideration of damages Tesla owed a former black factory worker who accused the company of racial profiling because it refused $15 million in damages.