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Tesla settles long-running racial discrimination court docket battle with former employee


Owen Diaz’s prolonged court docket battle towards Tesla is formally over, now that each events have agreed on a settlement. Legal professional Lawrence Organ, Diaz’s lawyer, instructed CNBC that that the “events have reached an amicable decision of their disputes,” however that the “phrases of the settlement are confidential.” In the event you’ve been following this case for some time now, which means you will not get to learn how a lot Diaz is getting after the huge $137 million in damages he was initially awarded acquired dramatically lowered to $3.2 million.

The previous elevator operator famously sued the automaker for enabling a racist office, saying that he confronted discrimination “straight from the Jim Crow period” as a Black particular person. He mentioned his fellow employees left left drawings of swastika and racist graffiti, equivalent to ones of Inki the Caveman, on his workspace and round Tesla’s Fremont meeting plant. Diaz additionally mentioned that he and different Black employees have been subjected to racial slurs, and that the corporate failed to handle thes behaviors regardless of repeated complaints.

In 2021, a San Francisco court docket ordered Tesla to pay $137 million in damages to its former employee, which was one of many highest quantities awarded to a plaintiff suing on the premise of discrimination. Nonetheless, a choose through the appeals that adopted discovered the quantity extreme and lowered it to $15 million, though he upheld the unique jury’s verdict. The events went again into trial after Diaz refused the lowered quantity, however a jury lowered the damages Tesla should pay even additional to $3.2 million. On the time, Diaz’s lawyer mentioned he was wrongly attacked by the protection and that that they had already requested a brand new trial resulting from misconduct. It appears to be like like each events have since agreed to barter behind closed doorways.

Whereas Diaz’s case is finished, Organ additionally represents Marcus Vaughn, who filed one other lawsuit towards the automaker for racial harassment. Vaughn referred to as Tesla’s Fremont plant a “hotbed for racist conduct” and petitioned the court docket final yr to provide his lawsuit class motion standing in order that he may add 240 Black colleagues to his criticism.

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