Tesla Inc on Thursday opposed the California agency that accused the electric car maker of tolerating widespread racial discrimination at its flagship assembly plant.
Tesla said in a complaint filed with state court in Alameda County that the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), which sued the company in February, has passed “underground regulations,” allowing it to file the lawsuit without notifying Tesla first. of the claims or to give the company a chance to settle.
Tesla’s counter-charge alleges that the CRD violated state law by failing to solicit public comment before enacting procedures to investigate and prosecute employers.
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And those proceedings violate the requirements that the CRD disclose details of its investigations to employers and attempt to settle claims out of court before filing a lawsuit, Tesla claims.
Tesla is seeking an injunction prohibiting the CRD from pursuing its allegedly illegal procedures in an employer’s investigation and requiring the agency to adopt new regulations through a formal regulatory process.
A spokesperson for the CRD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tesla had made similar claims in an effort to dismiss the California bureau’s lawsuit, which was dismissed by a state judge last month.
But the complaint filed Thursday could allow the company’s lawyers to uncover new details about the CRD’s practices and the Tesla investigation through the discovery process, which could affect its efforts to get the case dismissed. strengthen.
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The CRD alleges that Tesla’s flagship factory in Fremont, California, is a racially segregated workplace where black workers have faced racial slurs and graffiti and were discriminated against in terms of assignments, discipline and pay.
Tesla denied wrongdoing and said the lawsuit was politically motivated.
The company had asked a separate California agency, the Office of Administrative Law, in June to investigate the CRD’s alleged introduction of illegal policies. The OAL refused to review Tesla’s petition last month without explaining its decision.
Austin, Texas-based Tesla is also facing a series of race and gender discrimination cases by employees, most of which involve its Fremont plant.
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A state judge in April reduced a jury verdict for a black worker who alleged racial harassment from $137 million to $15 million. The plaintiff rejected the reduced award and opted for a new trial, scheduled for March 2023.
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