STORY: Telsa, which was slapped with a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, is counter-suing the California agency that leveled the allegations against the electric car-maker at its flagship assembly plant.
The EV manufacturer alleges that the California Civil Rights Department – a state agency charged with enforcing local civil rights laws - flouted requirements that it notify Tesla first and give the firm a chance to settle.
Tesla is seeking an order barring the CRD from following what the car-maker calls unlawful procedures and requiring the agency to adopt new regulations through a formal rule-making process.
A spokesperson for the CRD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tesla had made similar claims in a bid to dismiss the lawsuit, which was denied by a state judge last month.
But the complaint filed this week may allow Tesla’s lawyers to uncover new details about the CRD's practices and investigation through the discovery process, which could bolster its efforts to have the case dismissed.
The CRD claims Tesla's flagship Fremont, California, plant is a racially segregated workplace where Black employees faced racist slurs and graffiti and were discriminated against in terms of job assignments, discipline and pay.
Tesla has denied wrongdoing and said the lawsuit was politically motivated.
Tesla is also facing a series of race and sex discrimination cases by workers, most involving the Fremont plant.