WIGDOR LLP REPRESENTS 6 BLACK FORMER EMPLOYEES AT MOMENTUM SOLAR IN RACE DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION CLASS ACTION

WIGDOR LLP REPRESENTS 6 BLACK FORMER EMPLOYEES AT MOMENTUM SOLAR IN RACE DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION CLASS ACTION

On May 6, 2019, Wigdor LLP filed a proposed Class Action lawsuit against clean energy company Momentum Solar (“Momentum”) on behalf of 6 Black former employees, all of whom allege that they were subjected to racist comments by coworkers and terminated when they reported widespread race discrimination.  Momentum is one of the fastest growing clean energy companies in the nation; it was ranked as the “#2” energy company in the nation, as well as the top company in New Jersey across all industries, according to the Complaint.

The Complaint alleges that management at the Company’s New York-based warehouse fostered a work environment permeated with vile racism, including frequent use of the “n-word” by white colleagues and supervisors.  One foreman in particular, Defendant Adam Murawski, is alleged to have regularly used the “n-word” both in front of and directed towards Black employees without repercussions.

When each of these Plaintiffs reported unlawful discrimination to management, no action was taken to remedy the misconduct.  Instead, the racist comments continued unabated, and each Plaintiff was terminated within weeks of complaining, or in some cases the very next day, as alleged in the lawsuit.

The Complaint further alleges that Black employees at Momentum are vastly underpaid compared to similarly-situated white peers, assigned to the least desirable jobs and given fewer opportunities for advancement.  Finally, as alleged, Momentum engaged in blatant violations of federal and state wage and hour laws, including by requiring employees to work off-the-clock without pay and failing to reimburse employees for the costs of tools needed to perform their jobs.

Plaintiffs are represented by Wigdor LLP Partner Michael J. Willemin and Senior Associate Tanvir H. Rahman.

Statement from Michael J. Willemin and Tanvir H. Rahman, attorneys at Wigdor LLP:

“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.  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.”

 

Read the Full Complaint Here

The New York Times
“It Seemed Like a Model Green Energy Firm. But Black Workers Paint a Different Picture.”
May 6, 2019
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Law360
“Solar Co. Fired Black Workers Who Protested Slurs, Suit Says”
May 6, 2019
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Daily Mail
“Six black former workers sue a New York solar energy company for racism and harassment after white bosses ‘used the n-word, wrote racist posts, and fired anyone that complained’”
May 6, 2019
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PV Magazine
“Momentum Solar sued over appalling allegations of racism”
May 7, 2019
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New York Law Journal
“Lawsuit Accuses NJ Energy Firm of Racial Bias at NY Warehouse”
May 6, 2019
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Bloomberg
“Two U.S. Solar Firms Have Now Been Accused of Workplace Racism”
May 6, 2019
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Solar Power World Online
“Former employees file discrimination lawsuit against Momentum Solar”
May 6, 2019
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ThinkProgress
“Momentum Solar sued over appalling allegations of racism”
May 7, 2019
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