Tesla couldn’t get a judge to dismiss a case alleging racial bias at the automaker’s Fremont factory last month, so the automaker is now countersuing the agency responsible instead.
The luxury electric vehicle maker on Thursday filed a complaint in state court in Alameda County saying the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) adopted “underground regulations” in its investigations of Tesla’s factory. The DCR originally sued Tesla in February after allegations of a racially segregated workplace where Black workers were subject to mistreatment, harassment, unequal pay and a hostile work environment.
Since the suit was filed, Tesla has been attempting, unsuccessfully, to have the case dismissed for the very same reasons it is now countersuing the CRD. In Tesla’s case against the CRD, the automaker claims the agency did not first notify Tesla of the claims or racial discrimination at its factory or give the company a chance to settle outside of court.
The company is alleging that the CRD violated state law by not seeking public comment before adopting procedures for investigating and suing employers. In June, Tesla also filed a petition with the Office of Administrative Law for the same reasons in an attempt to temper the CRD’s authority by insisting it follow additional steps before suing employers.