Fifteen black former or current Tesla employees filed a lawsuit against the electric-car maker on Thursday, alleging racial abuse and harassment in its factories.
According to the lawsuit, filed in a California state court, workers said they were regularly subjected to offensive racist comments and behavior from colleagues, managers and human resources employees.
The harassment, which reportedly took place at Tesla’s Fremont, California, facility, included the use of the N-word and words like “slavery” or “plantation” or sexual comments, the lawsuit says. It claims that the automaker’s “Standard Operating Procedures include clear, overt and consistent racial discrimination.”
According to the lawsuit, some of the plaintiffs were appointed to the most physically demanding positions at Tesla or were passed over for promotions.
Monticello Justice, a production worker at Tesla’s Fremont plant, was immediately demoted upon his return to Tesla after taking an approved leave of absence due to contracting Covid-19.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The automaker is facing at least 10 lawsuits alleging widespread racial discrimination or sexual harassment, including one by a California civil rights agency.
It has previously denied wrongdoing and says it has policies to prevent and address workplace misconduct.
On Monday, a federal judge in California ordered a new Tesla damages trial against a black former factory worker who accused the company of racial discrimination after it turned down a $15 million (£12.4 million) award.
This month, a Tesla shareholder filed a lawsuit accusing CEO Elon Musk and the company’s board of neglecting worker grievances and promoting a toxic work culture.