Image provided by Electrek.
Tesla is being sued by Kaylen Barker—a black, gay woman who worked for Tesla as a contract worker who inspected brake parts. Barker claims that issues like racism, sexism, and gender orientation are not being addressed. Tesla has had more controversies in which their company gained over one thousand lawsuits since December 2021.
Junior Rohan Jolly, who attends Washington High School and owns a Tesla, was asked what he thought about the situation at Tesla. “I feel bad for Barker, and I think that Tesla should be investigated because there’s been multiple times where mistreatment is talked about in their company,” he said. “Barker has all the reasons to file a lawsuit against Tesla. It helps uncover the secrets Tesla is trying to hide other than their cars.” Noah Yonas, who is also a junior at Washington High School said, “These things happen a lot in big companies like Tesla, they always slide situations like racism and homophobia under the radar to not ruin their image as a company.” Barker was fired on October 29th after filing several complaints to supervisors about Tesla.
Another question on people’s minds is, what other recent problems has Tesla had, and what will the consequences be? According to an article in the Mercury News, Tesla had a similar incident three weeks earlier from when Barker was fired. The victim, Owen Diaz, was awarded $137 million after experiencing racial abuse at the Fremont Tesla Factory. Workers in the head department of Tesla like Valerie Workman were not happy with the money awarded, and said “The jury was wrong for awarding Diaz the money and the company has come a long way.” Yonas disagrees that the company has changed. He said, “I think that Tesla won’t suffer much consequences because of how big their company is. Even when you look around Fremont there’s so many people with Teslas and since electric cars are being so revolutionary they will continue to make a lot of money without major consequences.”
“Tesla would rather turn their head and ignore issues like this rather than correct the issue in fear of losing more money.”
The attorney for both Diaz and Barker, Bernard Alexander, says “Tesla claims to have changed their policies on discrimination and harassment at their factories but there has been no change since incidents started in 2013.” Bernard continues his statement when he says, “Tesla would rather turn their head and ignore issues like this rather than correct the issue in fear of losing more money.” There’s been over 167 racial and sexual harassment lawsuits filed against Tesla since 2006, and the company has lost 300 million dollars in lawsuits since then. This shows how Tesla operates and how many believe they will continue to operate.
Xavier Walker is a current junior at Washington High School. He was born and partially raised in Oakland, CA. This is Xavier’s first year on the paper. Xavier likes to write about sports as well as health. Xavier loves playing sports and is on the Washington football and basketball team. He also loves to draw. Xavier’s future plans are to continue playing sports in college.