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Worker alleges racial discrimination by CPI Aerostructures

Complaint filed with state Division of Human Rights; company says it prohibits discrimination.

The manufacturing floor at CPI Aerostructures is shown

The manufacturing floor at CPI Aerostructures is shown on March 6, 2012. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

A worker has accused an Edgewood defense contractor of discrimination, saying he was routinely called racial slurs and denied promotions and raises because of his race.

At CPI Aerostructures Inc., one manager said it was “company policy” not to promote African-Americans and Latinos, and managers and other workers used racist language, company employee Luis William Lentino-Rodriguez said in a complaint filed earlier this year with the state Division of Human Rights.

The company’s chief financial officer, Vincent Palazzolo, said Thursday that CPI Aero “prohibits discrimination in its workplace.”

CPI Aero does not “agree with his characterization of our company,” Palazzolo said. “As this is a pending litigation, we have no further comment at this time.”

Lentino-Rodriguez, 48, whose title is Structural Engineer Level 1, said in the complaint that he and other minority employees have been subjected to “racist behavior that exceeds all bounds of human decency and professionalism.”

Lentino-Rodriguez, who is of Dominican descent, is awaiting a hearing before an administrative law judge, his attorney, Mahir Nisar, said. He is also considering filing a federal discrimination lawsuit, Nisar said.

CPI Aero provides assemblies for aircraft including the F-35 multirole jet fighter, the T-38C jet trainer and the AH-1Z attack helicopter.

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