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Former Tesla worker rejects $15 million payout in racism abuse lawsuit

Owen Diaz, who worked at the Tesla plant as an elevator operator, was originally awarded $6.9 million in damages for emotional distress and $130 million in punitive damages in the case.

Published: 23rd June 2022 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2022 11:22 AM   |  A+A-

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Elon Musk. (Photo| AFP)

By PTI

SAN FRANCISCO: A former black Tesla worker who said he was harassed and faced with 'daily racist epithets', including the 'N-word' while working at the company's Fremont, California, the plant has rejected a substantially reduced award of $15 million in his lawsuit.

Owen Diaz, who worked at the Tesla plant in 2015 and 2016 as a contracted elevator operator before quitting, was originally awarded $6.9 million in damages for emotional distress and $130 million in punitive damages in the case.

ALSO READ | Tesla shareholder sues Musk over racism and sexual harassment complaints

A judge slashed that by nearly 90% to $15 million, which Diaz turned down, according to a court filing. Diaz's rejection of the award could mean a new trial in the case. Diaz had alleged that employees drew swastikas and left racist graffiti and drawings around the plant and that supervisors failed to stop the abuse. A representative for Tesla could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday night.



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