the Los Angeles Times has a great article interviewing three former Tesla employees about their experiences of racism, discrimination, and retaliation at the company is worth reading. The story serves as contextualization a court case the automaker is currently facingwhere the California Department of Equal Employment and Housing claims the company has a “racially segregated workplace.”
During the experiences described in the lawsuit and in the Times‘ Story-like (and equally disturbing), being able to read real interviews helps connect names, faces, and individual experiences to the situation at Tesla’s California plant.
The workers have unique stories, but they share disturbingly similar passageways. Two employees describe being “blacklisted” or “blackballed” after reporting racist behavior to supervisors or HR. One of them describes being given a job normally done by two people – another recalls asking a supervisor, “‘You’re telling me to do a four-man job by myself?’ She says the supervisor told her or she would be fired. All report being called the N-word all the time – sometimes by managers and often with the suffix “lazy”.
One of the employees says going to HR put an end to harassment from co-workers – but that she hasn’t received a performance review, raise or promotion in months. She was later fired for an accident in which she struck a sprinkler with a forklift. Another worker, she said, hit five sprinklers and was allowed to keep his job. “They waited for me to make a mistake,” she said.
The other workers echoed similar sentiments. One said Tesla “began looking for a reason to fire him” after reporting his racist treatment to HR. The other said she felt like she had been pushed out of the company after being “harassed by supervisors”. Here is an example she gave:
Human resources sent her an email saying she was “under investigation for allegedly threatening someone,” she said. Stunned, she asked who she had threatened and was told it was someone on the day shift.
But she had worked the night shift.
“People on the day shift told them, ‘We don’t know them,'” Romby said. “It was just a bunch of BS”
The company’s lawyers no longer has a PR department) largely denied the allegations Times, and listed reasons why she treated employees the way they did. But this isn’t the first time Tesla has faced scrutiny over a hostile workplace. Last year, a jury in California ruled that the company would have to pay a former worker $137 million Compensation after supervisors failed to address his reports that he was harassed with racist graffiti and constant use of racist slurs.
The company had to too Pay another ex-employee $1 million After winning an arbitration, he reported that his supervisor called him the n-word and got revenge on him again after confronting him about using the bow. have other employees accused the company of having a racist culture. (Again, Tesla denied many of the allegations from those cases.)
But while reading about court cases can certainly be enlightening, it’s important to also see what employees have to say about the situations they found themselves in. It provides more context and insights we might not otherwise get into how discrimination can affect people emotionally and their future lives. Therefore the Los Angeles Times piece is important and worth reading.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/25/22996954/go-read-interview-former-tesla-employees-racism-discrimination-retaliation Read ex-Tesla employees’ experiences of racism in their own words