It’s still quite the rollercoaster ride at Tesla. On the upside, with its more affordable Model 3 scheduled for delivery this year, the automaker seems poised for the mainstream stage. On the downside, its current cars’ software glitches and Autopilot failures are killing people.
The news out of California today might keep everyone’s hands in the carriage at all times as the roller coaster comes to a halt. California’a DeWitt Lambert (44) filed a lawsuit through the California Civil Rights Law Group alleging racism and discrimination at Tesla’s Fremont Factory.
According to the CCLRG’s statement, “Mr. Lambert, on a continuous basis from the summer of 2015 to the spring of 2016, was subjected by his co-workers on the assembly line, to racial slurs and lewd behavior. They would call him the N-word throughout his workday, talk about the size of his penis and even placed a drill gun into his buttocks.” It should be stated that none of those elements are considered standard features on the upcoming Model 3 – not even the buttocks element.
Lambert filed an 11-count suit in Alameda County Superior Court alleging (…deep breath…) Race Harassment, Race Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, Failure to Prevent Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation, Threats of Violence in Violation of the Ralph Act, Violation of the Bane Act, Failure to Accommodate, Failure to Engage in the Interactive Process and Assault and Battery.
According to the filing statement, around October of 2015, a video camera caught the daily harassment and violent threats taking place on Lambert’s iPhone. The transcript reads:
N—-r, we take your ass home, n—-r. Shred you up in pieces, n—-r. Cut you up, n—-r. Send your ass so everyone in yo family so everybody can have a piece of you, n—-r. Straight up, n—-r. We get down like that, n—-r.
A report by the San Jose Mercury News states Tesla human resource employees interviewed the workers involved, who reported the events differently and testified Lambert also used racially insensitive language. Human resources counseled the employees on professional behavior, while Lambert was then transferred to another work area.
There’s currently no mention of the case or any response to it on Tesla’s website.
No matter how this case pans out, these event can’t be received well by Tesla founder Elon Musk. The billionaire futurist and champion of everything progressive can’t comfortably boast of a bright future for an electrified humanity while there remain accusations that today’s human beings back at his terrestrial California plant are allegedly treating each other like animals.