A federal court in San Francisco has ruled that Tesla must pay former worker Owen Diaz about $137 million after suffering racist abuse at the company, he said. The lawyer told CNBC on Monday. The jury awarded more than the client requested counsel, including $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million in mental distress.
Bloomberg first reported the decision.
Diaz, a former contract employee hired by an electric car company at Iron Mask through a recruiting company in 2015, faces a hostile work environment and her colleagues text her for hurting her and other black workers. Is. where used. Return to Africa “And left a racist mural in the toilet and a racist painting in his workspace.
According to Diaz’s attorney, Jay Bernard Alexander of Alexander Morrison + Fell LLP of Los Angeles and Larry Organ of the California Citizenship Law Group in San Anselmo, said the case was due to workers not signing off on one of Tesla’s obligations. The arbitration can proceed with the agreement.
Tesla uses mandatory arbitration to force employees to resolve disputes in closed rooms instead of at public trial.
Like other companies that use mandatory arbitration, Tesla rarely faces significant damages or takes significant corrective action after the arbitrator has resolved the dispute. However, as a result of the arbitration agreement, Tesla had to pay $1 million to Melvin Berry, another former worker who tolerated Tesla’s racist and hostile workplace.
Pending class action in Alameda County, Calif. – Wonav. Tesla Inc. – also claims that Tesla is full of racism and harassment.
“We were able to put the jury in our client’s position,” Alexander told CNBC. “When Tesla came to court and tried to say that they were zero-tolerance and that they were meeting their obligations, the jury was outraged because it was really zero-responsibility.”
Shareholder activist Nia Impact Capital is calling on Tesla’s board to investigate the impact of mandatory arbitration on its employees and culture.
Notably, the Auckland-based Social Impact Fund allows forced arbitration to enable and hide sexual harassment and racism from Tesla’s stakeholders, ultimately harming employees. We are concerned that this could lower morale and productivity and put pressure on profits.
In a recent shareholder offer, Near Impact Capital wrote:
“The use of the Compulsory Arbitration Clause limits remedies for employee misconduct and prevents employees from proceeding to court in the event of discrimination or harassment, underlying facts, illegal activity, or it may keep the outcome of the case confidential, thereby Employees may be prevented from learning about and acting on general concerns.
Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services explains that Tesla has faced several serious allegations of sexual and racial harassment and discrimination over the years and has voted on a resolution passed to shareholders. advised to do.
This is the second year in a row that Near Impact Capital has announced such a proposal.
This year, as it did last year, Tesla’s board of directors advised shareholders to vote against the report on the impact of mandatory arbitration on employees.
Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting is scheduled for October 7th and will take place at Tesla’s new vehicle assembly plant under construction in the suburbs of Austin, Texas.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.