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Tesla Ex-Worker to Get $137M For Hostile Work Environment

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Claim about hostile work environment in a court | Tesla Ex-Worker to Get $137M For Hostile Work Environment | featured

Yesterday, a San Francisco court ordered EV maker Tesla to pay a Tesla ex-worker $137 million for damages. Owen Diaz will receive the money for the pain and suffering he endured while working for the automotive manufacturer.

Even as Diaz’s lawyers asked for a lesser amount, the jury decided to give more. They decided that $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress should be enough. 

RELATED: Two Men Killed When ‘Driverless’ Tesla Crashed Into A Tree

Tesla Ex-Worker Receives $137 Million In Damages

Tesla sign on the building on car sales-Tesla Ex-Worker

Tesla Ex-worker Owen Diaz was a contract worker who joined the company in 2015 via a staffing agency. He endured racist abuse and a hostile work environment during his time there.

He told the court that colleagues denigrated him and other Black workers with racial epithets. They told him to “go back to Africa” on occasion. In addition, they left racist graffiti in the restrooms as well as a racist drawing in his work area.

Diaz received representation from Alexander Morrison + Fehr LLP. His lawyers, J. Bernard Alexander and Larry Organ said that Diaz managed to do what others couldn’t.

He got his case moved forward. This is only because Diaz didn’t sign a mandatory arbitration agreement. 

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Tesla Requires Mandatory Arbitration

Tesla, like many companies, requires workers to sign mandatory arbitration agreements. This is the reason why the company rarely faces expensive damages or settlements.

The most that the company had to pay for an issue with a Tesla ex-worker was $1 million.  Another minority worker, Melvin Berry, also endured a racist, hostile workplace at the EV company. Another ongoing lawsuit in Alameda County, California, also accuses Tesla of racism and harassment.  

Alexander told the media about how Tesla dodged their responsibility to create a safe work environment. “We were able to put the jury in the shoes of our client. When Tesla came to court and tried to say they were zero tolerance and they were fulfilling their duty? The jury was just offended by that because it was actually zero responsibility,” Alexander said. 

Shareholder Reacts to Tesla’s Mandatory Arbitration Policy

As a result, Tesla shareholder Nia Impact Capital wants to examine the policy of mandatory arbitration. They want to know how the policy affects employees and the work culture.

Specifically, Nia wants to determine if mandatory arbitration enables Tesla to hide sexual harassment, racism, and hostile work environment from stakeholders. If this is the case, it can ultimately harm employees’ well-being. It could dampen morale, reduce productivity and affect the bottom line. 

Consequently, Nia Impac Capital issued shareholder proposal.“The use of mandatory arbitration provisions limits employees’ remedies for wrongdoing, precludes employees from suing in court when discrimination and harassment occur, and can keep underlying facts, misconduct, or case outcomes secret and thereby prevent employees from learning about and acting on shared concerns.”

Shareholders Asked To Vote For Nia’s Proposal

Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services suggested shareholders vote on Nia’s proposal. It noted that Tesla faced many serious allegations of sexual and racial harassment and discrimination for many years running. Meanwhile, this is the second year in a row that Nia proposed an examination. 

Same as last year, Tesla’s board advised shareholders to vote against the proposal. They didn’t want to issue a report on the impacts of mandatory arbitration on employees. The annual shareholder meeting scheduled on October 7 will determine whether Nia will get the yes this year. 

Watch the Inside News video reporting that Tesla must pay $137 million to ex-worker over hostile work environment:

What do you think of mandatory arbitration?

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Do you agree with the settlement award of $137 million for the Tesla ex-worker who complained of racism and hostile behavior? In addition, what do you think of companies that apply a policy of using mandatory arbitration?

Let us know what you think. Share your comments below.  

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  • The professor says:

    You didn’t say how much of that 137 million the lawyers are going to get!!!

  • Tom says:

    Here is the funny part, and I want to know why this wasn’t presented in the article…I’ve been to the Tesla plant many times as a supplier, most of the workers are Mexican, not white. So, at least they can’t blame the racism on whites, although I’m sure the media will try to make it look like it’s a black/white thing.

  • MissyTruth says:

    Mandatory arbitration shouldnt be legal period, not for employment contracts or consumer contracts. We need to remove corporate protections because they abuse them and disregard the law.

  • JR says:

    137 million is totally ridiculous.

  • Sam says:

    He should have gotten more than 137 million, in honor of the poor saps getting screwed by their mandatory arbitration agreement. So him and his employees building these futuristic stupid cars and putting rockets into space are acting like 10 year olds?! I wonder if they out gum in some girls hair too? I always knew that guy was douchebag, he just seems like it and since he’s so wealthy and so intelligent he probably thinks laws don’t apply to him. Why isn’t this all over the media? Probably the same reason 200 people arrested for a child sex ring in Ohio idn’t being allowed out. There were teachers, firefighters, city council members, probably dome politicians too.

  • J. Light says:

    That is what’s wrong with the world. Dumbass people like this that wanna sue over some shit that they, I guarantee, had their fair share of “shit talking” too. But wait for it, that’s right, he’s the minority.. Great trend your starting buddy. “Hey, the rest of the minority out there.. it’s your calling, better get in line before the worker standing next to you does… no breaking in line…” This guy is a real piece of work and a piece of shit.
    A hostile work environment is not shit talking back and forth with co-workers, but way to go dude, your “minority” saved you and the “governmental classification” has succeeded again. “Calling all BLM, Start the celebration..” I’m sure he will fund it. Think about this and tell me I’m not speaking the truth. He didn’t endure a damn thing that wasn’t mutual workplace “shit talking.” Take what he endured and compare it to what other people go through and get ZERO restitution.. Try being in the shoes of someone working for a violent narcissistic prick with nowhere to go because he ruins any chance of you leaving and going somewhere else by slandering your name.. Picture the guy your working for is your father in law on top of being a narcissistic prick.. Wait for it, now go ahead and add physical abuse to that.. Then try to sue over it when you face the reality of depression, anxiety, anger management issues, etc..
    Like I said before, THIS GUY didn’t go through shit. Good job stepping up your ignorance. Way to go. 👍🏿

  • BINH THAI says:

    137 millions! IT’S RIDICULOUS WHERE’S THAT NUMBER COME FROM? NOW I KNOW WHY MODEL 3 AND Y GO UP 2000 DOLLARS!

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