Tesla just lost a record-setting lawsuit. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Owen Diaz worked as a contractor for a staffing company that stationed him at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory where he said he regularly faced discriminatory treatment and was called the n-word. He complained to his staffing company employer and to Tesla but said nothing was done to stop it. The jury in the case awarded $137 million, the biggest award in a racial harassment case for a single plaintiff in US history.
Tesla said witnesses had said that they thought the n-word was said in a friendly manner. So, a couple of lessons: first, the n-word is a no. Never. Not ever. No one should say it and companies should have a policy disciplining anyone who uses it. No exceptions. Second, every company now has a hundred and thirty-seven million reasons to care how it handles complaints even non-employees make about the worksite.