A Tesla shareholder is suing the company, its board of directors and its famous boss Elon Musk, accusing them of ignoring allegations of sexual harassment and racism made by some employees.
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A lawsuit was filed Thursday by Solomon Chau in a court in Austin, Texas, where Tesla is headquartered.
In the court document, a law firm representing Mr. Chau criticized the vehicle manufacturer for creating “a toxic corporate culture based on racial and gender abusive practices and discrimination against its own employees.”
“This toxic environment has been shaping internally for years, and the truth about Tesla’s culture has only recently come to light, prompting action from regulators and individuals alike,” the authors continue, damaging the company’s reputation.
The complainant believes that the group, which has 11 members on its board and Mr Musk, who is chairman of the board, ignored the numerous “red flags” that caused the departure of several highly qualified employees and incurred costs to complete certain procedures or pay fines.
Tesla has been found guilty in the past of ignoring racism towards one of its former employees at the Fremont, California plant.
The group was initially ordered to pay that lift operator $137 million and interest before the fine was reduced to $15 million.
Other lawsuits are ongoing, particularly against black ex-employees who claim to have been victims of racial slurs and inappropriate sexual language from co-workers or supervisors.
In February, California’s Civil Matters Investigations Agency (DFEH) announced it had filed a complaint against Tesla over racial discrimination in the workplace and said it had received hundreds of complaints.
Tesla, which has barely responded to journalists’ inquiries since late 2020, did not respond to an inquiry from AFP.