"Race harassment has continued at the Tesla Factory, and became more widespread, because despite their knowledge of the harassment, Defendants have done nothing that could be reasonably expected to stop it".
Documents obtained from the Alameda County Clerk of the Superior Court paint a damning picture for Musk and his electric vehicle company, claiming that Vaughn and others were routinely called the n-word by fellow employees.
Tesla is facing a class action lawsuit alleging that African-Americans workers are being exposed to racial slurs - and that the company is actively ignoring complaints.
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Vaughn is alleged to have sent a memo to Musk and members of the human resources department, claiming that a colleague, Tim Cotton, was subject to even worse abuse.
"Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric auto revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla Factory is pre-Civil Rights Era race discrimination", the lawsuit alleges.
Vaughn alleged in the lawsuit that his supervisors and co-workers routinely called him the n-word shortly after he started his job. His lawsuit seeks unspecified damages under a California anti-discrimination law. At the same facility, United Auto Workers (UAW) launched a campaign encouraging workers to join the union.
Vaughn's complaint also quotes allegedly features a letter from CEO Elon Musk, where he tells his employees to be "thick-skinned and accept that apology".
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Shares of Tesla closed down 2.1 percent on Tuesday afternoon following news of a civil rights lawsuit against the automakers.
Vaughn's lawsuit took issue with the purported response from the Tesla chief to problems in the workplace.
"Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group", Musk wrote in the emailed memo, according to the lawsuit. "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize". A third lawsuit, alleging similar facts, was filed in March.
Tesla has denied those claims as well.
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