Six employees who were terminated from Momentum Solar’s New York warehouse have brought a class action lawsuit against the company for alleged discrimination, according to a complaint filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.
The six plaintiffs, or former employees, all of whom are black, claimed to hear frequent racist remarks from coworkers and foremen at the warehouse, experienced wage disparity, were given “the least desirable jobs” and had no opportunities for advancement within the solar installation company, according to the court filing. Wigdor LLP, a law firm specializing in employment litigation and is representing the six former employees, filed the class action lawsuit against Momentum Solar on May 6, 2019.
According to the suit, each of the six former employees were fired from their positions with Momentum Solar after filing complaints about discrimination with foremen — some as soon as the next day.
“As alleged in the class action complaint, rather than occurring sporadically, acts of vile racism occurred on a near-daily basis and were part and parcel to the culture of Momentum’s NY operations,” said Michael Willemin, partner at Wigdor LLP, via email. “Despite being well aware of this racism, Momentum’s NY managers did nothing whatsoever to remedy it. When white supervisors admitted to using the ‘n-word,’ no disciplinary action was taken. When black employees complained about racism at Momentum, they were fired. As alleged in the complaint, Momentum treated its black employees as second class citizens — it is time for Momentum to be held accountable for that.”
Momentum Solar released this statement regarding the lawsuit: “There is no basis in law or fact for the claims asserted against Pro Custom Solar LLC (Momentum Solar) in the purported complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York. The six disgruntled former hourly employees were terminated for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons including unacceptable workplace behavior, fighting, poor performance, failure to show up for work and violations of material company policies and procedures. The company intends to vigorously defend all claims.”
Momentum Solar is a New Jersey-based solar contractor that employs about 1,200 people nationwide.