Kevin Kish Leads California Agency Suing Tesla for Racial Discrimination

Kevin Kish (’06), Director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), was quoted in the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post regarding his agency’s lawsuit against Tesla, the largest ever brought by the state for racial discrimination. In light of arbitration agreements preventing workers from filing complaints in court, Kevin noted, “government has the only effective enforcement mechanism to remedy broad pervasive violations in a workplace.” (“Horrific Allegations of Racism Prompt California Lawsuit against Tesla,” Los Angeles Times, Feb. 11). With DFEH investigating more than twice the number of cases regarding racial discrimination since 2016, Kevin discussed the current lawsuit, “We hear a lot about ‘structural racism.’ This case is very focused on segregation — the structural barriers to equality for Black employees.” (L.A. Times). Receiving hundreds of complaints from workers, Kevin stated, “Tesla’s Fremont factory is a racially segregated workplace where Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay, and promotion creating hostile work environment. The facts on this case speak for themselves.” (“California Sues Tesla, Alleging Racial Discrimination and Harassment,” The Washington Post, Feb. 9).