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2 weeks time for Ex Tesla employee to accept $15 million as damages for racial abuse

Judge William Orrick of the San Francisco district court granted an ex-Tesla employee two weeks’ time to decide whether he wants to accept $15 million in damage. Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator at a factory owned by Tesla Inc, sued for damages, as he was subjected to work in a hostile work environment. His colleagues and supervisor used racist slurs, caricatures and swastikas to harass him while working in the Tesla factory. Owen worked in the Tesla factory in Fremont, California for nine months between 2015 and 2016.

The jury in the case had found last October that Owen Diaz was subjected to a hostile environment in the factory, and Tesla failed to take any action against the people who were responsible. The jury had awarded $137 million to Owen Diaz for damages, in the proportion of $6.9 million for compensatory damages and $130 million for punitive damages.

A tesla factory

This is not the first time Tesla has come under the scanner for racism

However, In April 2022 the federal judge of the district court reduced the damages award from $6.9 million to $1.5 million for compensatory damages and $130 million to $13.5 million as punitive damages. The federal judge noted in the order that compensatory damages ordered by the jurors were excessive and the $130 million jury award for punitive damages was unconstitutionally large.

According to US Law, compensatory damages are awarded to cover actual losses, while punitive damages are awarded as a punishment to deter future violations of law.

Judge Orrick in his order on Tuesday said that he was firmly convinced that the award declared by the jury was excessive and that allowing an appeal on the order reducing damage wards, would result in delaying the resolution of a case which is already 5 years old.

What does US Supreme Court say about punitive and compensatory damages?

According to past decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, punitive damages should be less than 10 times the award for compensation of actual losses.

Tesla had repeatedly called the suit misguided and that they had taken actions and implemented policies to prevent and punish future racism-related issues.

This is not the first time Tesla has come under the scanner for racism in its establishment. Many black workers have alleged Tesla factories and their superiors of treating them like slaves on a plantation.

About Tesla –

Tesla is an American company founded in July 2003 as tesla motors. In 2004 Elon Musk invested $6.4 million in the company and became the largest shareholder. Tesla is focussing on researching and developing electric vehicles, autopilot cars, batteries and solar panels.



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