SolarCity Corp., the nation's largest provider of solar power, illegally underpaid service employees in violation of federal and state labor laws, a class action filed by the law firm Outten & Golden LLP alleges.
Filed in California federal court today, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of all installation employees throughout the United States, according to Jahan C. Sagafi, of Outten & Golden LLP, who represents the plaintiff and proposed class members in the litigation.
SolarCity installers install, repair, and maintain customers' solar power units throughout the nation, with operations in 19 states. The lawsuit alleges that SolarCity maintained a policy and practice of clocking its installation employees out when they were performing midday assignments of traveling from job site to job site, resulting in hours of off-the-clock work for which the employees were never compensated.
The named plaintiff, Ravi Whitworth, asserts that SolarCity also failed to comply with California laws providing meal and rest break protections and prohibiting employers from shifting business expenses to employees.
The complaint proposes that these claims be addressed in one trial for all affected employees as a class action, covering workers as far back as March 2012. It requests unpaid wages, penalties, unreimbursed expenses, and attorneys' fees and costs.
Mr. Whitworth said, "I am trying to make sure that my fellow SolarCity workers get paid for all the hours we have worked for the company, and the expenses we've incurred for them."
Plaintiffs' counsel Jahan C. Sagafi, of Outten & Golden LLP, said, "This lawsuit seeks fair compensation for the many installation employees whose long hours of hard work drive the company's success."
Current and former SolarCity installation employees who wish to report their work experiences or learn more about their rights are invited to contact plaintiff's counsel at www.solarclassaction.com. The site allows witnesses and employees interested in protecting their rights to contact plaintiffs' counsel.
The case is Whitworth v. SolarCity Corp., Case No. 3:16-cv-01540 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.