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MLB News: Latina Official Files Suit Against MLB for Discrimination

First Posted: Dec 13, 2014 01:01 PM EST
MLB Latina Official Files Suit Against Baseball for Discrimination Towards Latinos

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Major League Baseball's highest-ranking Hispanic woman in a management role filed a lawsuit this week that claims she faced discrimination there for two decades.

Sylvia Lind is seeking unspecified damages for the league's failure to consider, interview, promote and hire qualified Hispanic women to upper-level positions as executives and managers.

Lind claims the league also was a hostile work environment for her because of her age. The 48-year-old works as the MLB director of baseball initiatives in its Office of the Commissioner. She names the defendants in her lawsuit as league commissioner Bud Selig and her supervisor, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

Her suit claimed that Lind works in an industry dominated by white men and was repeatedly passed over for promotions and underpaid since 1995. She added that there is underrepresentation of Hispanics at the managerial level while MLB has a high proportion of Hispanic players and fans. Lind said that of the 52 people who hold vice president or higher titles, only two are Hispanic and only 12 are women.

Lind began working for Major League Baseball as a supervisor in their legal department in 1995 after graduating from law school at Fordham University. Lind, who has Cuban roots, said her starting annual salary was $43,000, according to the suit. She said she was the only Hispanic female lawyer in the legal department when she joined the team, and no Hispanic attorneys have been hired since.

Then, when Robinson became executive vice president of baseball development in 2012, Lind said her troubles worsened. He criticized her writing and other skills, while he collected a more than $1 million salary despite lacking educational and executive experience to qualify him for the leadership role.

Lind said the league's discrimination continued, even as she worked to plan and promote the league's yearly Civil Rights Game.

"While plaintiff has always maintained a professional demeanor to the public and endeavored to do what is in the best interest for MLB, it has been extremely disheartening, utterly demoralizing and extraordinarily taxing on her, both emotionally and psychologically, to almost single-handedly perpetuate what she has known to be the diversity and equal employment opportunity falsehood," the lawsuit read.

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