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Tesla says it expects lawsuit over ‘systematic racial discrimination and harassment’ from DFEH, calls it unfair

Tesla announced that it is expecting the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to file a lawsuit alleging “systematic racial discrimination and harassment” at Tesla.

The company preemptively defended itself calling it “unfair and counterproductive.”

The lawsuit hasn’t been filed yet, but Tesla warned about it in its 10k SEC filing, and now it has shared a blog post explaining its side of the situation.

In the post titled ‘The DFEH’s Misguided Lawsuit,’ Tesla alleged that the lawsuit is coming after three years of investigation from the DFEH that never found a case where Tesla was at fault.

Instead, the company claims that the lawsuit is based on alleged misconduct from some production associates at the Fremont factory from years ago:

“The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) intends to file a lawsuit against Tesla alleging systematic racial discrimination and harassment. This follows a three-year investigation during which the DFEH—whose mission is supposedly to protect workers—has never once raised any concern about current workplace practices at Tesla. Rather, the lawsuit appears focused on alleged misconduct by production associates at the Fremont factory that took place between 2015 and 2019.”

Tesla claimed that in all individual cases by the DFEH, the agency never found the automaker to have been responsible for misconduct:

“Over the past five years, the DFEH has been asked on almost 50 occasions by individuals who believe they were discriminated against or harassed to investigate Tesla. On every single occasion, once concluded the DFEH has closed its investigation without a finding of 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.”

The company also claims that the DFEH never tried to work with Tesla and instead, it is moving right away to a lawsuit, which it finds “unfair and counterproductive.”

Tesla has made clear that it will fight the lawsuit once it is filed.

We reported last year that Tesla was recently facing mounting lawsuits for allegedly ‘fostering a culture of sexual harassment and racism.’

A series of new lawsuits came after a former Tesla employee was awarded a $137 million judgment by the court in October over a complaint of racism at Tesla’s Fremont factory.

Tesla is also fighting this judgment.

We will update once the DFEH files its lawsuit and releases more details about the actual complaints.

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