Vivant Smart Home hit with racial discrimination lawsuits
Vivant Smart Home have been sued by four former employees who allege that the company engaged in racist behavior, thus creating a hostile work environment. The lawsuits allege the same type of behavior that was alleged in similar lawsuits filed earlier in the against Vivant’s sister company, Vivant Solar. Although the companies are separate, they are both owned by a private equity firm. Further, the two companies work closely, touting a “strategic partnership” with each other.
The lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County. The four plaintiffs, who all identify as minorities, allege that they were subjected to harassment based upon their race, retaliation for complaining about the hostel working conditions, racial discrimination and wrongful termination.
One plaintiff, Christopher Brown, alleged that he was constantly subjected to racial stereotypes and often heard his supervisor use the “N-word.” After complaining to Vivant’s human resource department, Brown was assured that the offending employees were disciplined and training was performed. However, Mr. Brown believes that nothing was done and notes that the supervisor who used the “N-word” is still employed at the company in the same position.
The attorney who represents the four plaintiffs reports that the allegations in the complaints are very similar to the allegations that were alleged against Vivant’s sister company in previously filed lawsuits. Because of the similarities in the allegations, this demonstrates that there is a culture at the sister companies that allow for this behavior.
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