Fired solar energy company worker sues, claims retaliation for speaking out against racism
An installation technician at a Philadelphia-based solar energy company who alleges he was fired in retaliation for speaking out against discriminatory treatment that was taking place against some of his coworkers has filed a complaint against his former employer in federal court.
Philadelphia attorney Brian R. Mildenberg filed the discrimination lawsuit Feb. 29 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Philadelphia resident Eric Rosario.
The defendant named in the civil action is Mercury Solar Systems Inc.
The lawsuit claims that Rosario, who began working for the company in July 2010, was terminated after only one month’s worth of work because he raised concerns about derogatory name calling and other discriminatory treatment that was being perpetuated against some of his coworkers by other coworkers.
The complaint lists numerous examples of incidents in which Rosario’s coworkers, who were minorities, were belittled and called racially offensive slurs.
Rosario voiced his concern about the “blatant discrimination,” and informed his coworkers that he objected to the racism because he himself is Puerto Rican, the suit states.
The lawsuit claims that Rosario was fired for his support of minorities and his vocal protest of racial harassment by his coworkers and supervisors.
“There was no legitimate business reason for the termination of Plaintiff’s employment,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit accuses the defendant of violating the federal Civil Rights Act, as well as New Jersey’s laws against discrimination.
(While the company is based in Pennsylvania, many of the job sites where the alleged discrimination took place are in New Jersey).
Rosario seeks declaratory judgment that the defendants have illegally discriminated and retaliated against him, as well as injunctive relief ordering Mercury Solar Systems to cease and desist all acts of racial discrimination, and to take other remedial action as is needed to enforce compliance with all relevant standards of non-discrimination.
Rosario also seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to other court relief.
A jury trial has been demanded.
The federal case number is 2:12-cv-01102-RK.