The American federal agency responsible for compliance with labor law (EEOC) filed a complaint on Thursday, September 28, against Tesla, accusing the electric car manufacturer of racist harassment. Tesla violated “federal law by tolerating widespread and ongoing racial harassment of its Black employees and subjecting some of these workers to retaliation for opposing the harassment,” the EEOC said in a statement.

According to the complaint filed in San Francisco, “since at least 2015,” black employees at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, have regularly been subjected to slurs such as “monkey,” “boy” and the “N -word”, − an allusion to the derogatory term to designate black people) −, a term that has become socially unpronounceable by white people in the United States. “Insults were used casually in busy areas,” the statement details.

“Black employees routinely encountered graffiti, including variations of the “N” word, swastikas, threats, and nooses, on desks and other equipment, in restrooms, in elevators, and even on new vehicles coming off the production line.”

The EEOC specifies that it tried to reach an agreement with the company, to no avail. The agency is now seeking damages, back pay for affected workers, and an injunction to force Tesla to change its practices.

A lawsuit won in 2021 by an employee

In February 2022, California had already filed a complaint against this factory for racial discrimination. “After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers, the DFEH found evidence (…) of racial segregation,” indicated this California state agency responsible for investigating cases of discrimination.

“Factory employees called the areas where many African-Americans worked the “porch monkey station,” literally “the area of ​​monkeys who don’t do anything,” the State of California complaint said.

“Tesla firmly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment and has a dedicated employee relations team to respond and investigate all complaints,” the group, headquartered in Texas, said in a statement. 2021.

In April, a jury reduced the damages Tesla must pay to a former employee who was the victim of racism from $15 million to $3.2 million. Owen Diaz, a freight elevator operator, won his lawsuit against the Fremont factory in October 2021.