The New York Mets’ former senior vice president for ticket sales and service has sued the team and co-owner Jeff Wilpon, who allegedly fired her because she was pregnant and unmarried. Leigh Castergine was fired on August 20 — the stated reason was that she had failed to meet sales goals, but Castergine alleges a string of serious discriminatory practices and statements on Wilpon’s part:
- He allegedly told a colleague that Castergine should be married before having a baby.
- He allegedly told Castergine to tell her boyfriend she would get a raise and a bonus if they got married.
- In a meeting in which Castergine and several male colleagues were present, he allegedly compared his opposition to advertising e-cigarettes at Citi Field with his opposition to Castergine having a baby out of wedlock.
When Castergine complained to human resources, she alleges that not only was no action taken, but she was also advised to quit her job. The allegation that her firing came in retaliation against the complaint she lodged with the Mets’ human resources department is but one aspect of the case in which Wilpon acted in a discriminatory fashion. In her lawsuit, Castergine cites several other relevant laws that she alleges Wilpon’s actions violated, including sections of the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as the section of the New York State Human Rights Law, which protects employees from discrimination.
Castergine is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Wilpon and the Mets organization. As she was the first woman to hold a senior vice president position in Mets history, there may be a significant reason to ensure future female high officeholders are well protected against discrimination.
If you believe you’ve experienced workplace discrimination based on your marital status, pregnancy or other factors, speak with an experienced New York employment discrimination attorney at the Derek Smith Law Group.