Tesla challenges the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for filing a lawsuit against the company, ignoring regulations to deal with such situations. The authority did not interact with the manufacturer and did not discuss the outcome of the investigation in order to come to the best solution.
Tesla Inc. filed a complaint on Tuesday accusing the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which is suing the manufacturer for racial discrimination, of rushing to file lawsuits against the manufacturer without proper investigations and bypassing interaction with the company. In its filing, Tesla told California's Office of Administrative Law (OAL) that the DFEH has adopted “underground regulations” that violate requirements it must meet before suing employers.
DFEH sued Tesla for systematic racial discrimination and harassment. This followed a three-year investigation in which the body never raised concerns about the manufacturer's current practices. The DFEH made no attempt to discuss the results of their investigation, denying to give Tesla any information on the matter. The details of the lawsuit became known only after it was directly filed with the court.
After filing the lawsuit in February, in April Tesla applied to the Oakland court with a request to suspend it. A filing in state court also revealed that the company is separately being investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and said California's DFEH may have rushed to file its lawsuit in February as part of a “turf war” with the federal agency. Tesla lawyers said the DFEH conducted a “bare bones investigation” before taking legal action and did not share many of the workers' complaints with the company until the lawsuit was filed. Thus, DFEH violated a state law requiring the agency to take various steps to investigate and resolve before suing the employer.
Tesla tried to put the lawsuit on hold for 120 days and force DFEH to try to settle the claims with the company out of court, in accordance with state law.
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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.