Earlier this week, Owen Diaz, a former black elevator operator at Tesla’s facility in Fremont, Calif., Received $ 137 million in damages from an eight-person federal court jury. The jury agreed with the actor that Tesla had created a hostile work environment by failing to adequately address the racism Diaz experienced at the automaker’s plant.
In their account of history, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, And The Los Angeles Times neglected to include information that would have given readers a more accurate representation of the dispute.
Two of the four newspapers refused to claim that Diaz was not a Tesla employee: he was a contract worker employed by the personnel agency, CitiStaff. No bona fide Tesla employees have been indicted in the details of the case.
Diaz worked at Tesla from 2015 to 2016. He claimed that during that time, he was regularly called racial slurs at work by a supervisor who used the n word more than 60 times and told Diaz to “back to Africa. ” three more contract employees testified that they commonly heard racist slurs (including the n word) from people who worked in the factory and that “more often than not they thought the language was used in a ‘friendly’ way and usually by African American colleagues.“
Only two of the papers revealed that some of the uses of the n-words came from other black employees.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Tesla “he turned a blind eye to racial slurs and offensive graffitiHowever, according to the Tesla company blog, during his tenure at the Tesla factory, Mr. Diaz complained three times of racial harassment and Tesla stepped in by firing two contract employees and suspending another.
Valarie Capers Workman (VP) wrote on the blog: “Mr. Diaz himself testified that he was “very satisfied” with the results of one of the investigations and agreed that there was a follow-up to each of his complaints.“
Here is the full Workman response (VP) sent to Tesla employees following the verdict:
- Mr. Diaz never worked for Tesla. He was a contract employee who worked for Citistaff.
- Mr. Diaz worked as an elevator operator at the Fremont plant for nine months, from June 2015 to March 2016.
- In addition to Mr. Diaz, three other witnesses (all non-Tesla contract employees) testified at the trial that they regularly heard racist slurs (including the n word) at the Fremont plant. While they all agreed that the use of the word n was inappropriate in the workplace, they also agreed that most of the time they thought the language was used in a “friendly” way and usually from African American colleagues. They also told the jury about the racist graffiti in the restrooms, which were removed by our concierge staff;
- There was no testimony or other evidence that anyone ever heard the n-word used against Mr. Diaz.
- Mr. Diaz has filed written complaints with his non-Tesla supervisors. These have been well documented in the nine months he has worked in our factory. But he didn’t complain about the n-word until he was hired full-time by Tesla – and after hiring a lawyer.
- The three times Mr. Diaz complained about the harassment, Tesla stepped in and made sure the staffing agencies took responsive and timely action: two contractors were fired and one was suspended (who had drawn a cartoon racist offensive). Mr. Diaz himself testified that he was “very satisfied” with the results of one of the investigations and agreed that there was a follow-up to each of his complaints.
- Although Mr. Diaz now complains about racial harassment in Fremont, by the time he claimed he was harassed, he recommended his son and daughter – while they were all living together in the same house – to work with him at Tesla.
None of the four newspapers reported that the legal document states that Diaz was known to be “very abrasive“towards colleagues or his involvement in verbal disputes with at least three Tesla colleagues during the first five months of his employment at the Tesla Factory.
The newspapers portrayed Diaz as a neglected victim of an insensitive company. Yes, he was abused by colleagues, probably those with whom he was irritating and with whom he had verbal disputes as documented. However, the reporting of the case should present an appropriate context and a review of all known facts.
Tesla should not be held responsible for the alleged treatment by the plaintiff.
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Syndication source for the original RWR article.
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