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Tesla's workplace discrimination allegations are not so clean

Tesla is largely known for its electric vehicles, but it recently made Colorado headlines for something much less clean. The car manufacturer is facing several workplace discrimination lawsuits amid allegations of racial and gender bias. Some workers even claim that they endured retaliation after complaining about ongoing harassment and discrimination at the same out-of-state factory.

These more recent claims follow a 2016 gender discrimination lawsuit. A former engineer at the factory originally filed suit while she was still employed, alleging that her male counterparts were promoted over and paid more than equally-qualified female engineers. She also claimed that she was subjected to harassment from men in the factory, and a short while later was fired and is currently in arbitration with Tesla.

The more recent allegations at the Tesla factory involve racial discrimination. At least four men claim that they were subjected to inappropriate racial epithets, at least one of whom claims he was physically threatened because of his race. Several individuals were fired after an internal investigation, and one of the men who complained was suspended with pay.

Tesla has repeatedly refuted claims of discrimination and harassment, insisting that it has a clean track record. However, it is perhaps short-sighted of any company to claim that none of its employees could ever act inappropriately, especially as multiple claims arise from within a single factory. Colorado workers who have been discriminated against or harassed may pursue workplace discrimination suits against their employers, which are not only effective at achieving just legal recourse, but may also help create a better work environment for others.

Source: NBC Montana, "Tesla factory at center of discrimination lawsuits", Sara Ashley O'Brien, Oct. 26, 2017

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