A Black former worker at Tesla’s Fremont, California assembly plant has rejected a $15 million payout from the automaker in a lawsuit alleging racial abuse by co-workers. A judge gave the worker, Owen Diaz, a two-week deadline to accept the award, which had been slashed from the original $137 million jury verdict.
Rather than being able to close the book on this one, Diaz’s rejection of the award will lead to a new trial. Aside from this case, Tesla is in the midst of several lawsuits. Most recently, two former Tesla employees filed a lawsuit alleging the automaker didn’t provide the 60 days advance notice required by federal law during its recent round of layoffs. Among other high-profile suits is the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s case against the automaker for, again, racial discrimination and harassment at Tesla’s Fremont facility — a suit that Tesla has criticized as being unlawful and is in the process of trying to thwart.
In a filing in San Francisco’s federal court, Diaz’s lawyers said that the $15 million award was unjust and would not deter future misconduct by Tesla.