A Black employee at Vivint Solar is suing the Utah-based company for racial harassment after a manager allegedly hurled racial slurs against him and built a “White only” clubhouse, reports The Sacramento Bee.
On Monday, Teshawn Solomon filed a lawsuit against Vivint Solar, a smart home technology provider, for racial harassment and discrimination.
Solomon, who is a felon, moved from Long Beach to Sacramento to get a “fresh start.” Instead, the 36-year-old father says he walked into a “racially hostile work environment” once he was assigned to the Vivint warehouse in Sacramento. Per Solomon, a non-Black manager’s use of the N-word were “part of his everyday vocabulary.”
Solomon expressed his concerns over the manager’s free use of racial slurs, but the manager insisted that he grew up around Black people, so it was OK for him to say it, according to Solomon’s attorney Corey Bennett.
The lawsuit alleges that the same manager once handed a box to Solomon, telling him specifically to “reach his Black hands out.”
In March, the situation took a terrible turn for the worse when Solomon arrived to work only to find a cardboard fortress with the words “White only” spray painted on it.
“It’s like a white pride playhouse or something,” Bennett said.
Solomon complained to the regional manager, but alleges that the regional manager responded saying, “What do you want me to do about it, T?”
None of the employees involved with making the fortress were disciplined, according to The Sacramento Bee. In fact, it is being reported that the regional manager went out of his way to tell Solomon that he should not take any of his complaints to human resources.
Solomon eventually resigned because he felt there was “nowhere he could turn to for relief from the discrimination, harassment and retaliation he was experiencing.”
Helen Langan, Vivint’s senior director of communications, issued a statement saying:
“We typically have a policy of not commenting on specific personnel matters or pending litigation. However, in this case, we wish to extend a sincere apology to Mr. Solomon for the deeply concerning and understandably upsetting situation he endured. Mr. Solomon’s experience was an isolated one and it has been addressed by our HR team to ensure something like this never happens again. Mr. Solomon’s experience simply does not reflect the values or culture of Vivint Solar and stands in direct contradiction to our core values as a company.”
The lawsuit was filed at California Superior Court in Sacramento County.