Kelly Klein files discrimination, unsafe environment lawsuit against ROH and Sinclair

Kelly Klein files lawsuit against ROH and Sinclair

Former Ring of Honor wrestler Kelly Klein filed a discrimination lawsuit against Ring of Honor and Sinclair Broadcasting this past Wednesday, as first first reported by Heel by Nature.

In the lawsuit Klein, 35 is claiming the following against ROH and Sinclair Broadcasting, the owning entity of ROH:

Discrimination and harassment, an unsafe work environment, breach of implied contract, unpaid royalties, violations of both state and Federal equal pay acts, and abusive discharge.

The complaint/lawsuit outlines the following:

– Breach of Implied Contract

– Unpaid Royalties

– Violation of State and Federal Equal Pay Acts, and Abusive Discharge

– Discrimination and Harassment, and Unsafe Work Environment

In her lawsuit, Klein alleges that Ring of Honor and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group terminated her contract on December 31, 2019, “because of her complaints regarding the disparate pay for WHO female wrestlers, the lack of safety and medical protocols after Plaintiff suffered the concussion in October of 2019, and the sexual harassment at ROH.”

Listed in the lawsuit are the following individuals:

Ring of Honor general manager Greg Gilliand; Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff; booker, producer and trainer Hunter Johnson; and Jay Lethal (real name Jamar Shipman).

In the her lawsuit, Klein details several incidents going back to September 2016 where she did not receive proper treatment after matches in which she was injured, claiming medical personnel were either not available or never tended to her injuries.

She also detailed a specific incident in 20127 with ROH star Jay Lethal (Shipman), claiming that he had gazed at her while in a hot tub and then asked her if her boyfriend was at the hotel or if she was staying alone at the hotel.  

Klein states that on or about December 17, 2018, she had email correspondence and a phone conversation with ROH regarding her salary. She said that specifically after she saw the initial offer for $20,000.00 for 2019, she asked if it would be possible for her salary to be increased to $24,000.00. ROH rejected her request stating that all female wrestlers in ROH were paid the same and that if they paid Klein more, then all of the other women wrestlers would have to be paid more. It was notes that this salary was substantially below the salary that the male wrestlers were paid and the decision to pay the salary was based upon the fact that Klein was a female. Klein said she was asked to make more appearances, with no limit regarding the frequency of appearances, than the other female talent. Klein said she learned that at least one male wrestler in ROH was paid $184,000.00 and was afforded single-occupancy rooming.

Klein stated in the lawsuit that when she brought her concerns to the Sinclair Human Resources staff, she learned in July 2018 her concerns were never brought up and no investigation was done.

In the lawsuit it states that Klein is seeking $75,000, including, but not limited to the following:

– Declaratory judgment from this Court as set forth and requested herein;

– Compensatory damages including, but not limited to past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and lost earning capacity;

– Damages as set forth in Md. Code Ann. Lab. & Empl. § 3-307(a) and/or 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)

– Annoyance, aggravation, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress; mental anguish;

– Consequential and incidental damages; (F) Court costs and expenses incurred in this action;

– Pre and post judgment interest; (H) Attorneys’ costs and fees;

– All such damages and relief as are available under Maryland Code § 2-305, et seq. or other applicable Maryland law;

– All such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.

Back in November 2019, Ring of Honor announced they were not resigning Klein, which then upset time her and then-husband B.J. Whitmer on how her release was handled, as she was she she was fired by email.  Klein also said at the time of her release, she was recovering from post-concussion syndrome.  Her last match match was in October 2019. 

Klein is a three times ROH Women of Honor World Champion. 

A copy of the entire lawsuit can read at Heel By Nature.

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