Judge says former Tesla employee has 2 weeks to accept $15 million payout for racist abuse – Vidak For Congress

Judge says former Tesla employee has 2 weeks to accept $15 million payout for racist abuse - Vidak For Congress 1

A federal judge told Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator at Tesla, he has two weeks to decide whether to accept $15 million in damages for racial abuse at the automaker’s factory in Fremont, Calif., according to a court ruling. was submitted on Tuesday.

Last October, a San Francisco federal court jury ordered Tesla to pay the black former employee $137 million for disregarding racial harassment and discrimination at Tesla’s EV factory. However, in April, that payout was reduced to $15 million after Tesla challenged the verdict, saying it would only have 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 Tuesday’s injunction he could not find a reviewing point of law to warrant an immediate appeal against the reduced award. The judge also said he believed the jury award was excessive and that allowing a speedy appeal “would further delay the resolution of a case that is five years old”.

Diaz testified that employees, including a Tesla supervisor, called him the N-word and other racist comments, drew racist caricatures and swastikas, and subjected him to other forms of discrimination during his nine months at Tesla in 2015 and 2016.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is also suing Tesla for alleged racism and harassment of black workers at the Fremont factory. In April, Tesla filed a complaint against the DFEH, alleging that the agency violated its legal authority by going after the EV maker.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Tesla had filed a complaint against the DFEH with the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) accusing the agency of adopting “underground regulations” that violate the requirements it must meet before suing employers. However, OAL confirmed to Vidak For Congress that Tesla has made no such complaint so far.

Even if the company did this, it wouldn’t affect the current case. Under the government code, Tesla should have filed a petition for underground regulation before the case started in order for it to be considered and have a possible effect on the current case.

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