A former New York Mets senior vice president, who was fired last month by the club, sued the organization on Wednesday alleging that she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex, and ultimately fired for becoming pregnant while unmarried. Leigh Castergine, who joined the Mets organization in 2010, was the head of ticket sales when, the suit says, she was fired by team COO Jeff Wilpon because he was “morally opposed” to Castergine having a child out of wedlock.
Here’s more from the suit:
[T]he Mets recognized and rewarded Castergine’s accomplishments through annual six-figure bonuses, significant raises and a promotion to the position of Senior Vice President—the first woman to hold such a position in the Team’s fifty-two year history. Until, that is, Castergine announced she was pregnant. Wilpon, the Team’s Chief Operating Officer and son of the principal owner, became fixated on the idea that Castergine would have a child without being married. He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the Team’s all-male senior executives that he is “morally opposed” to Castergine “having this baby without being married.” Wilpon told Castergine that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus. Castergine complained to the Team’s Human Resources Department. Wilpon responded by firing Castergine. According to Wilpon, “something had changed” in Castergine after the birth of her child—with still no ring on her finger. Wilpon told her that she was no longer as “aggressive” as she used to be.
Castergine is suing the Mets, as well as Wilpon, for damages. The Mets responded to the suit in a statement: “We have received and reviewed the complaint. The claims are without merit. Our organization maintains strong policies against any and all forms of discrimination.”