judge drastically reduces Tesla damages to ex-employee

A US judge drastically reduced on Wednesday – from 137 to 15 million dollars – the damages that Tesla will have to pay to an ex-employee victim of racism, while maintaining the guilt of the automaker.

The San Francisco judge found “excessive” the amount of damages a judge sentenced Tesla to in October, and reported on “constitutional limits” set at these amounts by the Supreme Court, according to the court decision consulted by AFP. He, however, maintains Tesla’s guilt and denies the request for a new trial: “The weight of evidence amply supports the finding of guilt.”

Tesla was sentenced in early October for turning a blind eye to the racism suffered by this man in the group’s factory in Fremont, California. Three days after this decision, a Californian agency had filed a complaint against Tesla for racial discrimination in this same factory, accusing the automaker of “racial segregation” At work.

Hired through a recruitment agency, Owen Diaz had worked as a lift operator between June 2015 and July 2016 in this factory, where he had suffered racist insults and a hostile work environment, according to court documents. During the trial, he explained that African-Americans in the factory, where his son also worked, were regularly victims of racist nicknames and denigration. Owen Diaz also said that despite complaints to the hierarchy, Tesla did not react to put an end to habitual racism.

Tesla vice president of human resources, Valerie Capers Workman, admitted some of the facts in a press release published in the wake of the verdict. She had mentioned that at the Fremont plant, other employees testified to having “regularly heard racist insults”whose word “Negro” (“Negro”). According to her, these employees said that “most of the time they thought that this language was being used in a way “friendly” and in general by African-American colleagues.” She said Tesla responded to Owen Diaz’s complaints by firing two contractors.

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