Sylvia Lind, a Cuban American woman who is Major League Baseball's top-ranking Latina, has filed suit against MLB, saying she has been paid less and passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified white men for over 20 years.
Specifically, the suit names Bud Selig and Frank Robinson—the League's executive director of baseball development and a former player himself—for being the perpetrators of such discrimination. The New York Post writes that Lind believes there is a racial component, as well, with no Latinas in top-tier jobs "in an industry where nearly 40 percent of the players are foreign-born (most of whom are from the Caribbean and Latin America)." Additionally, it was Selig who appointed Robinson above Lind despite, the suit alleges, being less qualified. A problematic performance review this year seems like the incident that put everything over the edge:
While working for Robinson, Lind claims the 79-year-old — who played 20 years and became the first player to win MVP awards in both the National and American leagues, before becoming a manager — subjected her to unfair performance reviews and refused to promote her because she's a woman.
"Sometimes you have to hire a man because there are places women can't go," Robinson told Lind during a 2014 performance review, the suit claims. "Well, I guess they can go most places now, but sometimes it's easier to hire a man because of what it is they'll be dealing with."
Lind also says she was never considered for Robinson's current job, which pays over $1 million annually.
The suit also alleges that Robinson took Lind off many of her key projects, including ones she created, and that he "[had] her take orders from his daughter, Nichelle, who is not an MLB employee, while organizing another league event, the filing claims." If true, those are classic underminer tactics, points of contention that all those of us who've been discriminated against in the workplace can recognize.
The suit says Lind believes that Robinson was trying to "orchestrate her termination" by telling her he was worried about her drinking and then making her take drug and alcohol tests starting this May. She is seeking unspecified damages. "It has been extremely disheartening, utterly demoralizing and extraordinarily taxing on her," says the suit, "both emotionally and psychologically, to almost singlehandedly perpetuate what she has known to be the diversity and equal employment opportunity falsehood."
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