Leigh Castergine’s resume is filled with prominent sports teams including the Boston Bruins and the Orlando Magic. Castergine joined the New York Mets in 2010 and was awarded a raise two years later, then promoted only a year after that. It may not seem unusual for a sports team’s senior vice president of ticket sales to have such a trajectory—Castergine’s path came to a screeching halt in August 2013. Why? Leigh Castergine is the first woman in the Mets’ 52 years to hold such a prominent position, and she got pregnant
In August 2013, Castergine discovered she was pregnant but was hesitant to inform the team’s CEO and Executive Vice President since the two had exhibited hostilities toward another pregnant female colleague. She waited several months until October 2013; she could no longer hide the pregnancy and informed CEO Jeff Wilpon and Vice President Lou DiPaoli.
From that point forward, Wilpon made the office a very uncomfortable environment. Often, Wilpon would make comments about Castergine’s pregnancy out of wedlock. He commented that he “might be old fashioned” but “thinks [Castergine] should be married before having a baby” according to the complaint. In December of 2013 Wilpon told Castergine that “she should tell her boyfriend that when she gets a ring, she will make more money and a bigger bonus.”
Things got worse for Castergine as 2014 started. At the start of the year, she was diagnosed with a rare-pregnancy related condition. Wilpon continued making comments about Castergine’s marital status commenting at an advertising meeting, “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having his baby without being married.”
Wilpon continued to openly comment on Castergine’s pregnancy and marital status; he often made these comments in front of other male executives. Finally, when Castergine reported the humiliation to Human Resources, Wilpon terminated Castergine, telling her that since the birth of the child she was “no longer as ‘aggressive’ as she used to be.”
The Mets have responded publicly, claiming Castergine’s claims are without merit. The Mets, apparently, don’t discriminate.