Tesla will pay $1 million to former employee Melvin Berry who said he was called the N-word by his supervisor.
According to court docs obtained by CBS News, Berry, 47, began working for Tesla in 2015 as a materials handler in 2015. He quit after 17 months due to racial harassment on the job. In 2017, he filed two complaints against his supervisors at Tesla with California's fair employment office, alleging he was called a racial slur, forced to work longer hours and made to push a heavier cart of materials.
Arbitrator Elaine Rushing ruled there was evidence that two Tesla supervisors used the N-word toward Berry and "case law is clear that one instance of a supervisor directing the N-word at a subordinate is sufficient to constitute severe harassment."
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Telsa denied the allegations in 2017, according to Bloomberg.
CBS News reports Berry was awarded $1 million but more than $755,000 will go toward attorney and legal fees. He will receive approximately $266,000.
Berry’s lawyer said in a statement to CBS News, "We hope that this award of over $1 million will inspire change at Tesla and send a message to all employers that harassment and discrimination have no place at work.”
Berry said in a phone interview with Bloomberg, “I hope the world knows that an arbitrator found Tesla treats its employees like this.”