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BY Francis Akhalbey, 10:00am June 23, 2022,

Former Tesla worker given two weeks to accept $15M award in racism case rejects payout

Owen Diaz rejected an initial $15M payout -- Photo via New York Post

A former Tesla worker, who was given two weeks to accept a $15 million award after he won a racial abuse lawsuit against the electric-automobile manufacturer, has rejected the payout, per NBC News.

As Face2Face Africa previously reported, a jury initially awarded the plaintiff Owen Diaz $137 million, but a judge slashed it to the aforementioned amount. Diaz turning down the payout paves the way for a new trial.

In a brief that was filed in a San Francisco federal court, Diaz’s lawyers argued the $15 million awarded their client was unfair and would do nothing to discourage Tesla from committing such wrongdoings in the future.

“In rejecting the court’s excessive reduction by asking for a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to evaluate what Tesla did to him and to provide just compensation for the torrent of racist slurs that was directed at him,” Diaz’s lawyers said.

Diaz filed the lawsuit in 2017 alleging racial abuse and a hostile working environment at Tesla’s San Francisco Bay Area factory. The initial $137 million awarded to him by the jury was one of the largest racial discrimination lawsuit payouts, NBC News reported. But in April, U.S. District Judge William Orrick reduced the amount to $15 million. Orrick had also turned down a motion for a new trial from Tesla as a result of the reduced payout offered to Diaz.

The plaintiff, earlier in June, wanted to file a motion to appeal the decision. But Orrick denied his motion and gave him two weeks to accept the reduced payout or seek a new trial. 

There have been multiple allegations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory. The electric-automobile manufacturer is facing lawsuits concerning those allegations.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 23, 2022


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