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Providence YMCA settles gender discrimination lawsuit from former execs

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination

The Greater Providence YMCA has settled an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by two former executives. The plaintiffs, both women, said that the GPYMCA’s CEO treated them harshly, stripped them of their duties and sent them threatening messages — treatment, the plaintiffs say, that their male colleagues never received.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the attorney representing both former employees said his clients “are very, very pleased with the resolution.”

Background of the lawsuit

According to the Providence Journal, the plaintiffs were hired to be the GPYMCA’s chief financial officer and chief of marketing in 2016. Between the two hires, the organization’s board of directors also hired a new CEO.

Beginning in late 2016, the women say, the CEO became increasingly hostile toward them. Among their accusations were:

  • Micromanaging their work, despite not being qualified to do that work himself
  • Demeaning them and sending them aggressive, threatening messages at night and on weekends
  • Telling one of the women to find a cloth so she could shine his shoes
  • Taking away their authority and banning contact between the plaintiffs and other executives and board members

The women approached Human Resources in January 2017 with a written complaint about the CEO and a request for an investigation. Soon after, according to the lawsuit, the CEO attempted to suspend both plaintiffs, allegedly saying their complaint was made in “bad faith.” Both women eventually quit and sued the GPYMCA. They contended that the CEO did not give any male executives the same harsh treatment he treated the plaintiffs with, and accused him of retaliating against them for filing a gender discrimination complaint.

Charting an efficient path toward justice for victims of discrimination

Lawsuits over workplace discrimination and toxic work environments can take a long time to resolve. An employment law attorney experienced in litigation can explain the process to you, and do what is possible to bring your case to a successful outcome as soon as possible.