California is suing Tesla over allegations of widespread racial discrimination and harassment

The state of California is suing Tesla over allegations of widespread "racial discrimination and harassment" against Black workers at the company's factory in Fremont. After complaints from hundreds of workers of a "racially segregated workplace" that includes unfair pay and discipline, as well as workers being subjected to racial graffiti, racial slurs, and an overall hostile environment, California's department of fair employment and housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday.

From The Washington Post:

"Tesla's Fremont factory is a racially segregated workplace where Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay, and promotion creating hostile work environment. The facts on this case speak for themselves," agency director Kevin Kish said in a statement.

The complaint alleges that Tesla managers and supervisors regularly made racist remarks about Black workers. "A common narrative was Black and/or African American workers being taunted by racial slurs and then baited into verbal and physical confrontations, where they, in turn, were the ones disciplined for being purportedly "aggressive" or "threatening," the department said in an excerpt of the lawsuit provided to The Washington Post.

The lawsuit also said that Tesla's Black workers were "subjected to discriminatory terms and conditions of employment."

Earlier in the day, Tesla had said that the regulator appeared to be probing incidents alleged to have occurred from 2015 to 2019. The company said that it "strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and harassment" and that it "continues to seek to provide a workplace that is safe, respectful, fair, and inclusive."

The move comes as the company has been contending with multiple lawsuits alleging toxic working conditions. In October, a jury ordered Tesla to pay a former worker, who is Black, nearly $137 million — $6.9 million in damages for emotional distress and $130 million in punitive damages — after finding the company liable for racist abuse at its plant.