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Tesla accuses civil rights agency of unlawfully suing for racial discrimination – TechCrunch

Tesla has accused the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) of failing to conduct proper investigations before suing Tesla over racial prejudice at its assembly plant, according to a petition filed with the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on Wednesday.

That DFEH filed a lawsuit against Tesla in February for alleged racial discrimination and harassment of employees at the company’s Fremont factory. Tesla had attempted to stall the lawsuit to settle claims out of court, which the automaker says should have been an option before the DFEH resorted to a lawsuit.

On Wednesday, California Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo said it would be unreasonable to stay the lawsuit. according to Reuters. (The news agency was also the first to report it Tesla’s petition to the OAL a day before it was officially filed.) However, according to court documents, Grillo agreed to host a hearing for Aug. 23 for a denial motion or a motion to dismiss based on the DFEH’s questionable practices.

The automaker, in its response to Grillo’s decision not to grant the stay request and in the petition filed with OAL, accuses DFEH of enacting “underground regulations” that disregard requirements it challenged before filing lawsuits employers must face, such as fairly notifying the employer of an investigation and assisting in the resolution of disputes before any legal proceedings are instituted.

Tesla might have better luck in August as the California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act supports some, if not all, of the automaker’s claims about how DFEH should have behaved. However, sources trusted the law TechCrunch told TechCrunch that the OAL petition is unlikely to have any impact on Tesla’s case, primarily because it should have been filed before the case began.

The OAL petition therefore appears to be an attempt by Tesla to soften the agency’s authority by insisting it take additional steps before suing employers like Tesla.

Screenshot of the OAL Tesla petition

Screenshot of a petition filed on behalf of Tesla with the California Bureau of Administrative Law. Photo credit: TechCrunch

Specifically, Tesla says the DFEH failed to provide the automaker with the “details” of its investigations prior to initiating those investigations and provided no information to support its findings against Tesla. The automaker also appears to object to the fact that the lawsuit was filed without first conducting “good faith mediation and arbitration,” and that the lawsuit was filed over claims “that were not previously investigated and/or about which the employers were not informed in advance – suit notice.”

That Law seems to explain that the DFEH has an obligation to promptly investigate bias, but does not necessarily have to notify the employer of an investigation. However, the wording of the law states that the DFEH should “promptly seek to remedy the unlawful employment practice challenged by conference, arbitration and persuasion” and that before filing a civil complaint, the Department “should invite all parties to participate must mandatory dispute resolution in the department’s internal dispute resolution department, free of charge for the parties to resolve the dispute without trial.”

The DFEH could not be reached in time for a statement.

The OAL has 60 days to accept or reject a petition based on certain criteria. But again, it’s unclear whether accepting this petition will help Tesla’s concerns in this particular case, as it’s already underway. The OAL did not respond in time for comment.

DFEH’s lawsuit against Tesla is one of several pending courts in California accusing the automaker of tolerating discrimination and sexual harassment in its factories.

A California judge this week neared settling a case involving former Tesla elevator operator Owen Diaz, who alleges rampant racist treatment and harassment during the nine months he worked at the Fremont factory. On Tuesday, US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco told Diaz he had two weeks accepting Tesla’s $15 million payout, which is a long way from it $137 million a jury had previously awarded Diaz.

Tesla accuses civil rights agency of unlawfully suing for racial discrimination – TechCrunch Source link Tesla accuses civil rights agency of unlawfully suing for racial discrimination – TechCrunch

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