Former Tesla employee rejects $15 million jury prize in racism case. here’s why

Former Tesla employee Owen Diaz had alleged he had been the victim of racist abuse during his employment at the California factory between 2015 and 2016.

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HT automatic office

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Updated:
June 22, 2022, 07:04

File photo of the Tesla logo. (Reuters)

A former Tesla employee has refused $15 million in damages in a case involving allegations he made against the electric vehicle manufacturing company of racist abuse. This after a judge reduced the jury’s verdict of $137 million to the final figure of $15 million.

Owen Diaz had alleged he had been racially discriminated against at Tesla’s California facilities and sued the electric vehicle maker in 2017. Eventually, in October last year, he won the lawsuit of seven days in what is widely seen as a meaningful verdict. in the country. But earlier this week, Diaz told US District Judge William Orrick that the 89% reduction in damages was not acceptable to him. “In rejecting the excessive curtailment of the court by seeking a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to assess what Tesla did to him and provide just compensation for the torrent of racial slurs that addressed to him,” read a statement released by his attorney Larry Organ. “Mr. Diaz seeks to restore a fair and equitable award of punitive damages that will punish and deter Tesla for the racist conduct to which Mr. Diaz was subjected and to prevent future harassment from occurring.”

Diaz was an elevator operator at the company’s factory in Fremont. In his court filing, he alleged that several of his colleagues and a supervisor had contributed to making the work environment hostile to him and that he had been subjected to insults, caricatures and swastikas during his period. nine months of employment between 2015 and 2016.

Diaz is just one of many former Tesla employees who have sued the company over allegations of rampant racism. Some even complained about the harsh working conditions and lack of basic amenities. Tesla, for its part, has mostly denied all of the allegations against it. In Diaz’s case, the company has not commented on him rejecting the $15 million award.

(With contributions from Reuters)

Date of first publication: June 22, 2022, 06:52 IST

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