Following a period of workplace harassment, a brand ambassador for equestrian sports gear decided to sue her employer in Georgia for discrimination. The employee, who was one of four other “pro” brand ambassadors, was in charge of overseeing maintenance and sales for the brand’s pop-up sale stand at horse shows. She was constantly reprimanded by her employer for a lack of sales, despite being given out of date and inferior equipment to sell while the other three employees were given brand new merchandise.Though she still continued to increase sales, management issued multiple complaints about her, reprimanding the employee while losing money on their own sales and failing to discipline any of their other three pro employees. The brand ambassador alleges that the harassment became worse when she was diagnosed with HIV, and was afraid to retaliate in case she was discharged and lost her prescription insurance benefit that kept the HIV in remission. The case required an athletic management expert who could discuss whether or not the employer’s conduct was unusual and outside the standard treatment that a action sports sales representative would experience.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have experience as a head sports professional or managing professionals and salespeople?
- 2. Are you familiar with the standard or normal treatment for professionals in the industry?
Expert Witness Response E-073979
I find this type of behavior to be highly unusual for our profession. In my profession, I am responsible for all aspects of the sales operation and manage over two dozen employees. I am very familiar with the norms of managing sports Professionals. The practice of dividing up a shop or retail operation and having each employee take ownership is a common practice, but to evaluate the performance against other team members and not the department is not! We provide annual reviews of individuals and set expectations and attainable goals for that individuals to be successful within our operation.