Former ACLU employee sues organization for violating core values of ‘diversity’ it espouses, lawsuit alleges

A former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee of more than two decades is suing the organization and four of its senior executives for violating the same core values it espouses, claiming they “were not only ignored but violated.”

Monica Espitia, an immigrant from Colombia, sued ACLU-Hawaii this month in a 25-page suit in the Oahu Circuit Court for an alleged “pattern of discriminatory and retaliatory conducted based on race and sex” that ultimately led to her termination. 

“In practice, however, while Plaintiff was asked to publicly hold government officials accountable to one standard regarding implicit bias, inequitable treatment, and free speech, she was required to remain silent and accept the opposite standard regarding these matters at the workplace of the ACLU-HI,” the lawsuit states. 

Espitia has been employed by several ACLU branches since 2005. In 2019, she was hired by ACLU-HI as the smart justice campaign director, which focuses on reducing mass incarceration by 50% “while addressing racial bias throughout the criminal justice system.”

In a series of events between 2019 and 2022, the complaint alleges that one of the defendants, Josh Wisch – a White individual – accused Espitia of discriminating against White men in a hiring decision for a position in

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