Kelly Klein files for discrimination lawsuit against Ring of Honor and Sinclair Broadcasting

Kelly Klein files for discrimination lawsuit against Ring of Honor and Sinclair Broadcasting
Image credit: Ring of Honor/Corey Tatum

Former Ring Of Honor star Kelly Klein has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the promotion and Sinclair Broadcast Group after she was unfairly released back in 2019. 

According to the court order details that were obtained by HeelByNature.com, Klein had filed the lawsuit in February against the company and Sinclair Broadcasting, and listed the following names as parties in the suit. 

  • Greg Gilliand (General Manager Of ROH)
  • Hunter Johnston (aka ‘Delirious’, creative director, senior producer for ROH)
  • Joe Koff (Chief Operating Officer of ROH)
  • Jamar Shipman (aka “Jay Lethal”) 

Klein has listed ten incidents that date back to 2016, that demonstrate multiple injuries and or incidents that didn't meet medical protocols. The lawsuit also lists several instances of discrimination and harrassment, which include: 

  • Breach of Implied Contract
  • Unpaid Royalties
  • Violation of State and Federal Equal Pay Acts, and Abusive Discharge
  • Discrimination and Harassment, and Unsafe Work Environment

Klein has made allegations that she was released from ROH on December 31st, 2019 because she made complaints to management about pay equality towards female wrestlers, lack of safety and medical protocols after she became injured during an event in ROH in October 2019, alongside the sexual harrassment she had experienced while working for the promotion. 

Klein and Koff have previously spoke to Sports Illustrated back in 2019 about the company's concussion protocol and the current situation between them. Here's what was said below: 

“The protocol is just this: We recognize the dangers that are inherent in professional wrestling,” said Koff of Ring of Honor’s concussion protocol. “More specifically, the possibility exists of a wrestler suffering a concussion during a match, and we take all injuries very, very seriously. When we are alerted or when we feel there is an injury, we immediately defer to the medical professional on staff.”

At that time, Koff had addressed Klein's concussion telling Sports Illustrated that Klein had turned down the chance to visit the hospital and be examined. 

“I wasn’t there, but I was made aware that Kelly did not realize she was concussed until sometime after the match. That hour could very well be a true lapse of time. But as soon as she reported she was concussed, she received immediate attention. Kelly declined the option to go to the hospital at that point. Ring of Honor had management present at the event, including the hired operating agent for the tour. I will tell you that as soon I learned about it, I texted her and she told me she appreciated my text and told me she was fine.”

Klein had not publicly commented on the issues with the company, until former WWE Tag Team Champion, Joey Mercury, had taken to Twitter to openly and publicly criticised Gilliland and his handling of their talent. Mercury had also repeatedly spoke about Klein in some of his exchanges and even went on to reveal her pay and related emails exchanged with Gilliland. 

On November 3rd, 2019, Klein had posted that she hadn't gone public with her issues with the company because  she “was afraid for my job and the jobs of my colleagues.” Klein said she didn’t want people to lose work and hoped this would make their respective workplace a safer environment, adding that she hoped “someone will finally listen and let me and others help make things better.”

This is a major development that's come out today. What are your thoughts about this? This could be a lengthy court battle, let us know in the comments below!