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Tesla is being sued over allegations of racial discrimination and harassment by California regulators who claim the electric car maker operates a “racially segregated workplace.”

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) said it has received hundreds of complaints from workers at the Fremont plant.

Tesla called the lawsuit “misguided”. It said that it was “strongly against all forms of discrimination and harassment” and would ask the court to stop the case.

Tesla said this would allow it to “take other steps to ensure facts and evidence will be heard”.

Kevin Kish, director of DFEH, said the agency “found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont plant is a racially segregated workplace where black workers are subject to racial humiliation and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay and promotion”.

It claimed that workers would refer to areas where Black or African-American staff worked under racist historical names, such as “plantations”.

The lawsuit, filed after an investigation by the agency, also alleges that an employee heard racist words “as often as 50-100 times a day”.

But Tesla claims that in the past five years, DFEH has been asked by individuals to investigate the company nearly 50 times.

“On every occasion, when DFEH closes an investigation, it finds no wrong doing against Tesla,” the firm said in a blog.

“As such, it undermines credibility for the agency to now claim, after a three-year investigation, that systematic discrimination and racial harassment somehow existed at Tesla.”

It also said that the allegations “focus on allegations of misconduct by production companies at the Fremont plant that occurred between 2015 and 2019.”

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