The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) will be forced to provide Tesla with details of their investigation at the Fremont factory if the company's request, currently pending before a judge, is granted. CRD violated state rules and failed to take the required action prior to filing a lawsuit.
Last February, CRD sued Tesla after they said they received several allegations that the company's Fremont factory is a place of racial segregation, where black workers are subjected to abuse, unequal pay, harassment, and a hostile workforce environment. At the same time, the agency did not even try to initially discuss the allegations with Tesla nor give an opportunity to resolve alleged problems before filing a lawsuit, though it was obliged to do so.
This caused Tesla to try to close the case, alleging that CRD did not follow proper protocol in its investigations at the Fremont factory. Tesla denied wrongdoing and called the lawsuit misguided, saying the agency did not provide Tesla with specific allegations or factual basis for its lawsuit. The company said the lawsuit followed a three-year investigation during which the CRD has never once raised any concern about current workplace practices at Tesla.
On Monday, California Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo made a provisional ruling that CRD must provide Tesla with the details of the investigation it was looking for. This could give the company a big chance to win legal action against the allegations. CRD challenged the ruling at Tuesday's hearing. The judge should make a decision in the coming days, however, it is unlikely he will make changes.
California law requires the CRD to fully investigate allegations of discrimination by employees before suing employers. If it appears that the agency did not investigate certain claims prior to filing a lawsuit, Tesla may ask that those claims be removed from the case or attempt to close the case.
Last September, Tesla filed a counterclaim against CRD. In it, Tesla claims that the agency did not first notify it of racial discrimination claims at its plant and did not give the company the opportunity to settle the dispute out of court. CRD has objections to this lawsuit with a hearing date of April 11.
© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.