“It’s very focused on the race of people who were doing jobs below the executive level at the organization. I think that’s an interesting disconnect,” Davis said in an interview.
Larry Campbell, the president and CEO of the Corners Outreach, said Wednesday that he is not aware of the lawsuit.
Kim, who was the only full-time staff member of Asian descent, was tasked with growing enrollment by one student a month, but instead brought in about 18 students a month, according to the suit. In 19 months, 355 new students were enrolled in the program, the lawsuit said.
Though Kim surpassed the program goals, he was not invited to assume a more strategic leadership role and was paid less than the 12 other director level employees with significantly less experience, the lawsuit said.
Kim alleges that vice president Scott Mawdesley discussed Kim’s ethnicity with him on three separate occasions, asking if he thought the enrollment in the program would be better if a Latino were in his job.
“Do you think these Latino kids can’t relate to you because you are not Latino,?” the lawsuit quotes Mawdesley saying to Kim.
Kim was terminated in June 2022 and was told he wasn’t the “right personality,” for the job, even though no one was concerned with his job performance, the lawsuit said.
Kim interpreted this as a thinly veiled reference to his ethnicity,” the lawsuit said.
“It’s a problem because you ought to be judged based on your merit. And you ought to have an opportunity to work and to thrive in an environment if you’re succeeding and you’re doing and outperforming any metrics that have been set in terms of performance,” Davis said. “And when that doesn’t happen, it’s discrimination.”
Kim alleges in the suit that it was evident during his time with the organization that senior leadership preferred to hire candidates who were Hispanic, even if it meant rejecting qualified applicants of other ethnicities.