Race bias lawsuit against Tesla gets new trial after former employee rejects $15 million award

Tesla Fremont factory courtesy of Becca Farsace / The Verge
Credit: Becca Farsace / The Verge

The case alleging race bias against Tesla will head to trial for a second time. On Monday U.S. District Judge William Orrick granted Tesla’s motion for a new trail, one week after a former Fremont factory contract worker rejected the $15 million award in the initial case. (via Reuters)

A new date for the trial has not been set, but a conference will be held on July 12 to determine the next steps.

Owen Diaz originally sued Tesla in 2017 for being subjected to a “torrent of racial slurs” while working as an elevator operator at the Fremont factory for nine months during 2015 and 2016.

In October 2021 Diaz was awarded $137 million by a jury of his peers, one of the largest amounts ever awarded in an individual race discrimination in employment case. Judge Orrick later slashed amount to $15 million saying it was “unconstitutionally large.”

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In rejecting the $15 million award, lawyers for Diaz said it unjust and undermined his constitutional right and would not prevent future misconduct by Tesla.

This isn’t the only lawsuit Tesla is facing over claims of racism at their Fremont factory. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) also filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging the automaker discriminates against black employees at the factory.