Former employee sues Ashland Family YMCA for alleged harassment and discrimination

ASHLAND, Ore. – A former Ashland Family YMCA employee says he was harassed and discriminated against before being fired from the company. Now he’s filing a civil suit against the organization.

Tony Akpan’s attorney says he is a former coach and Sports Director at the Ashland Family YMCA for about five years. But in the last year, he claims his new supervisor racially harassed and discriminated against him.

In a civil lawsuit filed Monday against the Ashland Family YMCA, former Sports Director, Tony Akpan claims his supervisor harassed and discriminated against him.

“It really started when he started getting negative feedback from his accent,” said Dimitre.

Akpan’s lawyer, Thomas Dimitre, said his client submitted an internal complaint with the YMCA about the comments from his supervisor. Soon after, Dimitre claims his client began to be targeted.

“Everything was fine. Then everything seemed to fall apart after he started pushing back on what was happening,” said Dimitre.

Dimitre said a poor performance evaluation came soon after. The lawyer claims Akpan was told to drop the complaint and the Ashland Family YMCA would drop the poor performance report.

“He felt like things had kind of changed, he was on the out,” said Dimitre.

According to Dimitre, Akpan then met with his supervisor and the Y’s CEO Dan Crocker. In the meeting, the lawyer said his client was demoted where his hours and pay were cut.

“He felt like he gave his all to the program and just got dumped when it got inconvenient or difficult for the Y to deal with his issues,” said Dimitre.

Dimitre said his client and his family couldn’t live with the new offer. When he wouldn’t accept the offer he was terminated.

The Ashland Family YMCA said in a statement

The YMCA has reviewed the press release issued by Mr. Akpan’s attorney, Thomas Dimitre. The allegations Mr. Dimitre makes are categorically false, and we are confident that your readership will understand Mr. Dimitre’s media strategy for what it is. We look forward to a judicial determination that the Y treated Mr. Akpan fairly and consistent with the law.  Beyond that, we are unable to discuss the details of Mr. Akpan’s employment.

The YMCA has not yet responded in court, as the lawsuit was filed Monday.

Stay with NBC5 News for updates on this developing story.

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