Rhode Island employees have basic rights in the workplace that entitle them to work in a safe environment free from discrimination and harassment. If an employee's rights are violated, the employee may choose to file a lawsuit against the employer. According to a recent report, Tesla Inc. is facing a workplace discrimination lawsuit after a factory worker allegedly experienced sexual harassment, racial discrimination and threats at the workplace.
The worker started working at Tesla's TSLA in 2015 and claimed that the position was his dream job before he experienced the mistreatment. According to the worker, his co-workers on the assembly line constantly made inappropriate sexual and racial comments toward him. Some even threatened him with violence. The man reported an incident where other workers put a drill gun in his buttocks.
Tesla investigated the claim and found that these incidents started as a result of a dispute between the man and a co-worker. The man mistakenly thought that other workers had recorded him and threatened the co-worker. Other employees reported this to human resources. The man then told HR that he was being harassed and some believe that it was his way of retaliating. Tesla reported that there was no video of the man submitted to HR.
After hearing both sides of the story, verbal warnings were issued and the man was moved to another department. However, once HR got word of a 2015 video made against the man, they conducted another investigation. The investigation revealed that the man used to be friends with his co-workers and used the same type of inappropriate language as his co-workers. As a result, some employees were fired and the man has been suspended without pay as the investigation continues. The man is pushing forward with his 11-count lawsuit.
Source: MarketWatch, "Tesla factory worker sues, claiming harassment, discrimination," Mike Murphy, March 27, 2017