Black Lesbian Sues Tesla for 'Unchecked' Racism, Discrimination

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday February 2, 2022

Tesla is accused of "festering" an environment of unchecked racism and discrimination in a lawsuit filed by a contract personal working at one of the company's auto plants, reported the Mercury News citing Bloomberg.

Karen Barker, a black woman who identifies as gay, is accusing the electric-vehicle maker of ignoring racial and homophobic slurs and physical harm she endured on the job.

"According to her complaint, her abuse occurred even as Tesla defended another contract worker's discrimination case in court — which the company lost and was ordered to pay $137 million in damages," the Mercury News reports.

Outlined in her complaint filed Tuesday in Alameda County, California, a white coworker reportedly "struck Barker with a hot grinding tool," while calling her several racial and homophobic slurs.

After Baker filed a complaint through Tesla's Human Resources department, the worker responsible for the incident was reportedly fired then rehired two weeks later "without any forewarning or explanation," she said in her complaint.

"I feel like I have been tortured and sent back in time before African Americans had civil rights," said Baker in a statement. She was reportedly fired from Tesla in what she believes was a retaliatory action after filing several complaints and refused to sign a "document falsely confessing to being insubordinate" upon her dismissal.

"In May, a Black former employee won a rare $1 million discrimination award in arbitration over the company's failure to stop his supervisors from calling him the 'N-word,'" the Mercury News reported. The award won is believed to be one of the largest verdicts in a racial discrimination case by a single plaintiff.