A federal judge told Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator at Tesla, that he has two weeks to decide whether he wants to accept $15 million in damages for racial violence at the automaker’s Fremont, Calif., plant, according to a court filing Tuesday.
Last October, a San Francisco federal jury ordered Tesla to pay a former black worker $137 million for turning a blind eye to racial harassment and discrimination at Tesla’s electric vehicle factory. However, in April this payment was reduced to $15 million. after Tesla challenged the verdict saying he only has to pay $600,000. At the time, U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco reduced both compensatory damages from $6.9 million to $1.5 million and punitive damages from $130 million to $13.5 million.
Orrick said in an order Tuesday that he could not find a decisive point of law to justify an immediate appeal for the reduced reward. The judge also said he was convinced the jury’s decision was excessive and that the possibility of a quick appeal would “further delay the decision of a five-year-old case.”
Diaz testified that employees, including a Tesla executive, called him the N-word and other racist slurs, drew racist cartoons and swastikas, and subjected him to other forms of discrimination during his nine months at Tesla in 2015 and 2016.
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) also sue Tesla due to alleged racism and harassment of black employees at the Fremont plant. In April, Tesla filed a complaint against DFEH, alleging that the agency was overstepping its legal authority by pursuing the electric car maker.
On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Tesla has filed a complaint against DFEH with the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which accuses the agency of enacting “underground rules” that flout the requirements it must meet before suing employers. However, OAL confirmed to TechCrunch that Tesla has not yet filed such a complaint.
Even if the company did this, it would not affect the current business. According to government codeTesla had to file a petition for the underground regulation before the case began so that it could be heard and could affect the current case.
Credit: techcrunch.com /