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Tesla Drops Minority-Worker Language After Musk’s Rants Over Diversity Initiatives *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 01, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , , ,

Tesla Inc. removed language about minority workers and supporting employee resource groups from one of its regulatory filings after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s recent comments criticizing diversity initiatives.

In its latest 10-K filing released early Monday, Tesla omitted a line from a year ago that read: “With a majority-minority workforce, empowering our employee resource groups to take charge in driving initiatives that attract, develop and retain our passionate workforce is vital to our continued success.”

Musk has repeatedly denounced diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in recent weeks on social media, calling them “literally the definition of racism.” In another post on X, the social network he owns, Musk said “DEI must DIE,” referring to the acronym for diversity policies.

A DEI backlash in the US has gained steam after the Supreme Court banned race-based admissions in higher education. While the ruling didn’t cover businesses, many have become become less vocal on the issue and are reconsidering diversity recruitment and hiring programs.

Musk also sparked controversy last year after he endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X. The comment and accusations that racism proliferates on the platform led to various companies pausing advertising. Musk has since tried to counter accusations of antisemitism, including by visiting Auschwitz.

The latest filing still notes that Tesla’s human-resources policies are designed to “promote fairness and respect for everyone,” and the company says it won’t tolerate discrimination over race, religion, sexual orientation or other characteristics.

Diversity has long been a sensitive issue for the carmaker, even before Musk’s condemnation of DEI. Tesla has faced numerous complaints and lawsuits over racial discrimination and other forms of harassment at its plant in Fremont, California.

The state’s civil rights regulator sued the company in 2022 after finding a pattern of mistreatment of Black workers at the facility near San Francisco. Tesla has pushed back against what it called a “misguided” suit. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a similar case against the company.

Tesla isn’t the only company to publicly pull back on commitments to diversity. McDonald’s Corp. removed the term ESG — referring to environmental, social and corporate governance policies — from parts of its website last summer. Attacks from conservative activists have led to a scaling back of DEI programs at a handful of organizations, including Pfizer Inc.

Related: Corporate America Is Rethinking Diversity Hiring as Legal Challenges Rise

America First Legal, founded by Stephen Miller, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, has filed EEOC letters against more than 20 companies, including American Airlines Group Inc., Macy’s Inc., McDonald’s and Salesforce Inc. The group argues that efforts to hire and promote more women and people of color are discriminatory.

Photo: Photo by Omar Marques/Getty Images

Copyright 2024 Bloomberg.


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