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Umpire Angel Hernandez’s discrimination lawsuit against MLB dismissed for second time – The Athletic


A federal court again turned away MLB umpire Angel Hernandez’s discrimination lawsuit against the league for failing to promote him to crew chief. The judge last March granted MLB’s pitch to toss the four-year-old case, but the umpire in April filed an objection arguing the jurist had misapplied the law.

Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled that the pool of umpires is so small that it is not possible to statistically infer discrimination. Hernandez later countered that was a license to discriminate and asked Oetken to reconsider.

In a short five-page decision – nearly nine months after the motion to reconsider – the judge rebuffed the ump, writing: “Hernandez contends that the Court did not consider the legal impact of whether the small sample size of umpires and crew chiefs was a result of MLB’s own discriminatory conduct. He also argues that the Court’s decision will incentivize employers to keep the relevant employee pools and number of minority employees small enough to avoid liability for disparate impact discrimination, which is contrary to Second Circuit law and policy. Neither of these arguments, however, suggests a ‘change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice,’ as is required. Rather, these are policy arguments that are inappropriate to consider.”

Hernandez’s lawyer, Kevin Murphy, blasted the decision, as he did in March, and promised an appeal, meaning the case is not finished.

“The District Court has determined, in effect, that Angel Hernandez cannot proceed with his lawsuit against MLB unless baseball’s discrimination against him was statistically significant,” he wrote in an email. “We do not believe that that is a proper application of existing law.


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