Tesla likely faces California agency’s racial bias lawsuit

Aug 24 (Reuters) – A California state judge said on Wednesday he would likely refuse Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) bid to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the United States civil rights agency. State accusing electric car maker of widespread racial discrimination at assembly plant.

California Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo in Oakland, in an interim written order, dismissed Tesla’s claims that the lawsuit would be unmanageable because it involves thousands of employees and that the Civil Rights Department (CRD) of the State did not inform the company of all the claims. continued in February.

During a hearing on Wednesday, Grillo said he needed more time to make a final decision, according to a Tesla representative.

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California judges often issue interim written rulings before hearings. It was unclear when Grillo could make a final decision.

In the lawsuit filed in February, the CRD said Tesla’s flagship factory in Fremont, California, was a racially segregated workplace where black employees were harassed and discriminated against in terms of work assignments, discipline and remuneration. Read more

Tesla, who has denied any wrongdoing, and his attorneys said they had no immediate comment.

A CRD spokesman declined to comment. Until last month, the agency was called the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Tesla, based in Austin, Texas, is facing a series of racial and gender discrimination cases, most involving the Fremont plant. In April, a state judge reduced a jury verdict for a black worker who alleged racial harassment from $137 million to $15 million. The plaintiff rejected the reduced award and opted for a new trial, scheduled for March 2023. read more

In its motion to dismiss the CRD case, Tesla claims the agency flouted its obligations under state law by filing a lawsuit without first notifying the company of all claims or give it a chance to settle.

Tesla in June filed a complaint with another state agency, the California Office of Administrative Law, saying the CRD’s alleged failings are widespread and that the agency’s procedures are illegal. Earlier this month, the OAL declined to consider Tesla’s petition without giving a reason. Read more

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Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi, Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Daniel Wiessner

Thomson Reuters

Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy development. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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