Licensed Florida golf professional assistant who staged hunger strike
FORT MYERS, Fla .– The former professional golf assistant for Legends Golf and Country Club, who said he was unfairly sacked in May, has taken legal action against the club.
Standing outside the residents’ entrance to the grounds on Monday, Brad Stecklein, 46, said: “I just want answers. The main reason I’m here today is to announce that there is a trial. I also ask. … For the resignation of general manager Renae Frazier and PGA golf professional Chad Perkins.
The lawsuit against the club’s main association, alleging a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and claiming damages in excess of $ 30,000.
He claims a new golf pro at the club wanted him to work 57 hours a week, stop giving golf lessons on the clock, then fired him after asking the club’s general manager for a recommendation a job. As part of the lawsuit, Stecklein is also seeking compensation for the regular and unpaid overtime he worked.
After being fired, Stecklein staged a hunger strike at the entrance to the club, only stopping when his wife worried about her weight loss during the multi-day action.
“All I know is I have 100 people who are ready to be removed,” he said. “I’m looking forward to my day in court. “
Frazier, CEO and COO of Legends, said Legends is not commenting on outstanding issues.
Perkins could not be reached for comment and did not respond to phone messages for a statement.
In May, Frazier expressed bemusement as to why Stecklein was organizing the protest against hunger and declined to make a statement.
“No one is fired without cause,” was all she said. A memo sent by Bill Hoffman, chairman of the board of Legends following Stecklein’s dismissal, said: “It has long been the policy of your club not to publicly comment on the details of the discipline or the dismissal of a. specific employee. We believe that the policy is good management practice and serves the best interests of the employee and the club.
Florida is an “at will” working state, which means that a worker can usually be terminated without cause or notice.
According to state laws, there are exceptions. You cannot terminate an employee under Florida labor law if the termination is for an illegal reason or goes against the terms of an employment contract.
Stecklein said there was no reason to fire him as he has been a loyal Legends employee for almost a decade and a half.
Stecklein said he was moved by the support of “an army of (club) members” and stories about his dismissal, including coverage by Golf week, which he says has gone viral and has attracted jobs and other types of support.
He said he turned down the job offers because his family wanted to stay in the Lee County area.
“My wife didn’t want to move, which I understand,” he said.
For the most part, he said, he handled the shootings.
“I had a lot of trauma for a few months and it’s tough as a boy from Iowa you’re supposed to be tough and get on with it,” he said.
One thing Stecklein said he was saddened was the way Hoffman, the chairman of the board, handled the issue.
“It broke my heart,” Stecklein said. “He was like a father figure to me, he was always there and smiling. Always so positive, not negative.
He said he was intrigued by Hoffman’s change of mind, promising to meet him, then ended up blocking the former golf pro on social media and emails.
“I just wanted to ask him why they were doing this to me,” he said.
Other club members offered their support and even started a gofundme collection for Stecklein which has been of great help to his family. Since May, this effort has raised $ 14,200.
“My wife has a chronic illness and the doctors’ bills are still piling up,” he said. “It has helped a lot.”
He said that another thing that really touched him was when his 11 year old son came to see him and offered him his allowance to “help pay the bills”.
Stecklein said a sincere offer put him on a downward spiral at the time.
“I just told him that everything will be fine,” he said. ” Everything will be alright. “