Tesla ordered to pay over $130 million to Black former worker over racism

The Wall Street Journal reports that a federal jury has ordered Tesla Inc to pay more than $130 million in damages to a Black former worker named Owen Diaz.

The jury found Owen Diaz to have been subjected to a racially hostile work environment.

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

Before the trial began, presiding judge William Orrick rejected efforts by Tesla to exclude one juror from the jury, saying he believed the attempt was based on race and “purposefully discriminatory.”

Last year, the electric carmaker disclosed in its first U.S. diversity report that Black employees make up just 4% of Tesla’s American leadership roles and 10% of its total workforce in the country.

The trial was heard at the U.S District Court, Northern District of California.