A former employee of Utah-based residential solar company Vivint Solar has filed a lawsuit alleging racial harassment that took place at Vivint’s Sacramento, Calif., warehouse.
According to a suit filed in California Superior Court in Sacramento County on Monday, white Vivint Solar supervisors allegedly called Teshawn Solomon, who is black, “a racial epithet” and “compared him to a monkey,” says a Washington Post report, which adds that employees also constructed forts labeled as “white only.”
After working at Vivint Solar for over a year, Solomon ended up resigning due to the “hostile work environment, brazenly racist conduct and management’s indifference to it,” the report says.
Calling the allegations “deeply disturbing,” David Bywater, CEO of the company, claims Vivint Solar “became aware” of the situation on Monday, when the suit was publicly filed. However, the Washington Post report, citing Solomon, says management “did nothing after [he] complained.”
Bywater maintains that the company has “completed a thorough internal investigation,” as well as disciplined several employees and fired one. It also plans to hire a third party to review “company policies and procedures raised by this incident,” as well as conduct a “company-wide harassment and discrimination training.”
“I want to firmly state that Vivint Solar has a zero-tolerance policy for racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace,” Bywater adds. “Our company is built on the strength of diversity. The disturbing experience described by our former employee does not reflect the values or culture of Vivint Solar and stands in direct contradiction to our core values as a company.”