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Tesla sued for alleged retaliation, race discrimination

Tesla is being sued by a former employee who claims he was wrongfully terminated from his position for reporting theft by a co-worker. He further claims that he was subjected to race discrimination. The California-based company has been sued multiple times for discrimination over the last year.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Alameda Superior County Court on May 15, the plaintiff was employed as an Operations Associate Manager at Tesla's Fremont assembly plant until October 2017. The lawsuit claims he received good job performance reports until he told supervisors and the company's human resources department that another manager was stealing Tesla auto parts. After that, he received a negative and "misleading" job review, which eventually led to his firing.

The suit alleges that the plaintiff, who is of Chinese descent, was held to a different performance standard due to his race and ethnicity. It also claims that Hispanic employees who received job performance reviews worse than his were not fired. The complaint seeks a trial by jury, back pay, compensatory damages and declaratory relief. In a statement, Tesla denied the accusations, claiming that it made no sense to fire an employee for reporting theft.

Employers are forbidden from retaliating against workers for reporting illegal behavior or incidents of discrimination. Examples of retaliation include denying promotions, creating a hostile working environment and wrongful termination. Employees who have suffered retaliation may have grounds to file a legal complaint. An attorney may be able to assess an employee's claims and recommend the best way to obtain relief. One possible action might be to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Source: Jalopnik, "Lawsuit: Tesla Fired Employee After He Complained About Manager Stealing Auto Parts," Ryan Felton, May 18, 2018

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