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Tesla Settles Factory Worker’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

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Tesla has settled a lawsuit by a former factory employee who says she was fired for complaining about severe sexual harassment, as the electric carmaker faces a series of sex and race discrimination lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco dismissed Tyonna Turner’s 2023 lawsuit on Monday, one day after she and Tesla informed the judge of the settlement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Turner worked at Tesla’s flagship Fremont, California, assembly plant, where the company is accused in a number of lawsuits of failing to address rampant harassment of Black and female workers. The settlement appears to be the first in a series of sexual harassment cases filed against Tesla since 2021.

Tesla, which has denied wrongdoing in those cases, and lawyers for Turner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Turner in the lawsuit alleged that in the nearly two years she worked at the Fremont plant she was harassed about 100 times, including by a male coworker who followed her around the factory and stalked her.

She claimed that when she complained, a supervisor told her, “That’s just how people are.” Turner was fired in September 2022, which she says was retaliation for reporting the harassment and a workplace injury.

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Orrick last August rejected Tesla’s bid to send the case to private arbitration, citing a 2022 federal law that bars mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and assault claims.

Turner’s allegations are similar to those in at least six other cases pending against Tesla in California state court.

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Tesla is also facing lawsuits accusing it of tolerating widespread racial discrimination at the Fremont plant and other facilities, including claims from a U.S. anti-discrimination agency, a separate case by its California counterpart, and a class action on behalf of 6,000 Black workers.

Those lawsuits claim that Black workers were subjected to constant racial slurs and graffiti, assigned to less desirable jobs and retaliated against for complaining. Tesla has said it does not tolerate discrimination and has fired workers found to have engaged in racist conduct.

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Topics
Lawsuits
California
Manufacturing
Tesla

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