Tesla ordered to pay more than $130M to Black former worker over racism, reports Wall Street Journal

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A federal jury on Monday ordered Tesla Inc. to pay more than $130 million in damages to a black former worker named Owen Diaz, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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The newspaper said the jury determined that the company failed to take reasonable steps to prevent racially harassing Diaz, a contract worker who worked as an elevator operator at Tesla’s Fremont factory in 2015 and 2016.

Tesla and its lawyers did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Diaz’s lawyers also did not respond to a request for comment.

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Before the trial began, Presiding Judge William Orrick dismissed Tesla’s attempts to oust a jury from the trial, believing the effort was based on race and “objectively discriminatory”.

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Last year, the electric carmaker revealed in its first US diversity report that black workers make up just four percent of Tesla’s US leadership roles and 10 percent of its total work force in the country.

The trial took place in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

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