Wear a real mask, dude. I know you can afford one.Imago/Zuma

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California is suing Tesla after the state says it has received “hundreds of complaints” from workers about a “racially segregated workplace” at its main factory near San Francisco.

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a complaint Wednesday alleging that Black workers at the plant were routinely discriminated against. DFEH found evidence that workers “are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay, and promotion,” the agency’s director, Kevin Kish, said in a statement.

The details of the case have not yet been made public, but the agency said it would post the complaint to its website on Thursday.

Tesla has tried to get ahead of the scandal, releasing a statement yesterday calling the lawsuit “misguided” and referring to the accusations as “a narrative spun by the DFEH and a handful of plaintiff firms to generate publicity.” (It’s unclear what a state agency tasked with protecting workers’ civil rights would have to gain from publicity.)

This isn’t the first time Tesla has found itself in hot water for promoting a racist working environment.

Late last year, the company was ordered to pay $136.9 million to a Black former elevator operator at the plant who said he faced “daily racial epithets” that supervisors failed to stop. The man, Owen Diaz, said that Tesla employees graffitied swastikas and racial slurs around the plant. Combined with a history of overworked factory employees, these accounts suggest a darker picture of the electric car behemoth than Elon Musk would like you to see.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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