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The Wall Street Journal: Feds probed Tesla for racial discrimination before California filed suit

A principal U.S. federal agency responsible for enforcing antidiscrimination laws has investigated Tesla Inc., according to a legal filing.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s probe has come to light in a legal dispute over alleged racial discrimination and harassment at the electric-vehicle maker’s California auto assembly plant.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Tesla in February, saying the company had turned a blind eye to years of complaints from Black factory workers.

Also see: Judge reduces award in Tesla racial discrimination suit from $137 million to $15 million

Lawyers for Tesla TSLA, +1.96% said in a Monday legal filing in Alameda County Superior Court that the EEOC opened an investigation into the car maker before the state agency did so in 2019. They made the disclosure while alleging misconduct by the California department and seeking a stay of 120 days in the case. Bloomberg reported earlier on Tesla’s filing.

The DFEH “has selected Tesla as its latest subject of sensationalized, press-grabbing litigation,” lawyers for Tesla wrote, saying the agency’s investigation was neither neutral nor complete.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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