New York Mets co-owner Jeff Wilpon is facing a discrimination lawsuit from a former employee. Leigh Castergine, who served as the Mets’ senior vice president for several years, claims she was fired from her position of overseeing ticket sales last month because Wilpon was “morally opposed” to her being single and pregnant.
According to the New York Post, Castergine claims in the suit that Wilpon went out of his way to embarrass her about her pregnancy in front of other team employees.
(Castergine says) in the suit that Wilpon “frequently humiliated [her] in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger.”
The suit claims Wilpon even stated “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 her that when she gets a ring she will make more money and get a bigger bonus,” the filing claims.
“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,” Wilpon said in a meeting over a proposed ad deal, according to the suit.
Castergine also alleges that Wilpon warned other Mets employees to ignore her pregnancy and “not rub her belly” because “she’s not sick, she’s pregnant.” After she gave birth in March and returned to work in June, Castergine says she received her first ever negative evaluation from the team when Wilpon told her she wasn’t as “aggressive” as she used to be.
Wilpon allegedly then told Castergine that she wasn’t meeting ticket sales expectations, despite the fact that the Mets were out of contention. She says Wilpon told her he would allow her to keep her job through the end of the year if she kept quiet with her discrimination claims, but Castergine had her lawyer draw up a letter anyway. She claims she was fired just three minutes after Wilpon received an email from her attorney.
While there are two sides to every story, this one doesn’t sound good for Wilpon and company.