YMCA of Dane County violated the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Ordinance when it unlawfully terminated the employment of Rochelle McGhee.
Ms. McGhee—a Black, African-American woman—worked as a Child Care Center Director at the corporation's Lussier Family YMCA locations.
During her employment, Ms. McGhee felt that YMCA discriminated against her because of her race, color, age, and sex. Accordingly, Ms. McGhee filed a discrimination complaint with the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission (MEOC).
In retaliation, YMCA fired Ms. McGhee and caused her to lose housing, income, and career advancement opportunities. Ms. McGhee also experienced periods of recurring homelessness because of her unlawful firing.
According to testimony by a former YMCA Human Resources Director, Carrie Wall gave the corporate authorization to terminate Ms. McGhee. At the time of Ms. McGhee's termination, Ms. Wall was the President and CEO of YMCA of Dane County.
In addition to back pay, YMCA was ordered to compensate Ms. McGhee for her emotional distress. According to legal documents filed on behalf of YMCA, Ms. McGhee's emotional distress damages are the largest ever awarded by the MEOC.