MLB Criticizes Clubs for 'Unacceptable' Workplace Facilities for Traveling Women Employees: Reports

·3 min read
A general view of the MLB logo prior to the game between the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants defeated the Phillies 2-0.
A general view of the MLB logo prior to the game between the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants defeated the Phillies 2-0.

Mitchell Leff/Getty

Major League Baseball says multiple clubs' facilities currently "fall embarrassingly below the high standards" required for women working with teams' traveling parties, and they're demanding teams address the "unacceptable" conditions, according to a memo first obtained by ESPN.

In the letter circulated on May 20, MLB senior vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill accused teams of fostering an "untenable working environment" for the league's female employees, reported the Associated Press, which also obtained the memo.

As a result, Hill said some women "are now choosing not to travel to certain cities with their Club on the road," according to ESPN.

MLB did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment about the memo, which PEOPLE has not independently verified.

Around one to two dozen women travel with teams on a regular basis, sources told ESPN.

"Over the first six weeks of the season, it has become clear that a number of Clubs are not in compliance with these requirements, particularly with respect to hosting women on visiting teams," the memo said, per ESPN and the AP.

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MLB's criticism of its clubs comes more than a year after it released a memo detailing new regulations for women's facilities at teams' respective parks, including a private locker room near the main clubhouse that comes with a restroom and shower, according to ESPN.

But 14 months later, some clubs have reportedly not met MLB's expectations. In last week's memo, the league said "it is unacceptable that women who are traveling as part of the visiting team are not afforded accommodations that permit them to do their jobs at the same level as their male colleagues and counterparts," ESPN reported.

One source reportedly told ESPN that a female employee tried to use an unlocked bathroom next to a dugout, but was walked in on several times. PEOPLE has asked MLB for comment about the alleged incident.

MLB warned clubs that non-compliance with its equal access guidelines is against league rules, according to ESPN.

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"Clubs that do not provide appropriate workplace accommodations for personnel regardless of gender violate MLB regulations, directly deprive women of equal access to participate in our great game, and discourage qualified women from participating in baseball roles traditionally held by men," the league said in its memo, according to ESPN and the AP.

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Though MLB acknowledged "space constraints in some ballparks may limit Clubs' ability to adhere to these requirements," the league said it expects "all Clubs to make the necessary sacrifices in order to provide satisfactory facilities to all female staff," according to ESPN.

Teams now have until June 3 to deliver detailed plans for any necessary changes to their facilities, ESPN and the AP reported.