Former Mets Executive Sues for FMLA Violation and Discrimination
Former Senior Vice Presidnet for Ticket Sales and Service, Leigh Castergine, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, alleging Jeff Wilpon, part-owner of the Mets and Chief Operating Officer, harassed her for being pregnant, ultimately leading to her dismissal from the team on August 26.
Castergine alleges in her complaint that Jeff Wilpon became fixated on her pregnancy as she was not married. In addition to several accounts of other discriminatory and appalling behavior, the complaint alleges Wilpon stated “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having this baby without being married,” during a meeting with her and several other executives. Wilpon frequently harassed Castergine, asking her if she were married, checking for a ring, and suggesting she tell her boyfriend that she would make more money if she were married.
After seeking legal advice, Castergine’s legal team sent an email to the Mets Organization asserting her discrimination and retaliation claims, to which the Mets responded less than three minutes later with an email firing her. Castergine attributes her firing to Wilpon’s discriminatory behavior and view of her pregnancy. The complaint quickly dispels the possibility that her firing was performance based. It provides several examples of her success with the team including a promotion to vice president and two $50,000 raises in the three years she was with the team. Castergine seeks injunctive, declaratory, compensatory, and punitive damages pursuant to discrimination, retaliation, FMLA claims.