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Tesla employees racially harassed black contract workers, lawsuit alleges

Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Automotive News

Citistaff, which had employed Diaz, and Chartwell, which had employed Patterson, each declined to comment on the allegations Wednesday, saying they had not been served with a copy of the lawsuit yet. West Valley did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

In July, Patterson filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing about his experience at Tesla. The agency closed the complaint because Patterson had later requested an authorization to file a lawsuit.

Tesla said that the plaintiffs worked at the company for a short time. The only "somewhat relevant" evidence was an email from Diaz to his supervisor in which Diaz said a coworker was making aggressive comments but made "no mention of the use of any racist language," Tesla said.

The company said it recently launched an online anti-discrimination and harassment training program and set up an employee relations team to investigate workplace concerns.

"We will never be able to stop every single person in the factory from engaging in inappropriate conduct, but we will continue to do everything that we can to encourage the right behavior and to take action whenever something bad happens," Tesla said.

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