Tesla turned a blind eye to racism, says ex-employee as he heads ...

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Tesla turned a blind eye to racism, says ex-employee as he heads to court

Owen Diaz knows he is up against it, but is determined to deter the company from future wrongdoing

Malathi Nayak

A former factory worker at Tesla, who alleges racism was rampant on the assembly line, has already achieved a rare feat: forcing the electric carmaker to fight him in open court.

But when Owen Diaz took his case to a jury trial on Friday in San Francisco, he was up against a company that almost never loses workplace disputes. 

Of almost 90 employment-related arbitration complaints filed against Tesla from 2016 to March this year, the company prevailed in 11 cases decided by a private judge after closed-door hearings, according to data compiled by JAMS, the arbitration service provider that handles the company’s disputes. Tesla lost only one arbitration - a case very similar to Diaz’s that ended in May with a $1m (about R15m) award to the ex-employee. Most other cases were settled or were abandoned, withdrawn or dismissed without a hearing. ..

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