In The Wake Of #MeToo, What Should Racing Industry Employers Be Thinking About? – Paulick Report


The #MeToo sexual harassment movement has yet to find its stride in the horse industry

As the #MeToo movement continues to ripple across the country, more women are publicly telling their stories of sexual assault and harassment. The movement has focused on incidents in the workplace, which leaves executives and human resource managers rethinking policy to protect their employees from mistreatment – and themselves from liability.

In March 2017, U.S. Equestrian Federation made a move toward tackling the problem for equestrian athletes when it announced its participation in the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a new initiative to protect competitors and provide resources to those impacted by assault or harassment. The Center for SafeSport was launched as an independent authority for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic governing bodies to investigate allegations of sexual assault or harassment against athletes and to provide outreach aimed at prevention. USEF’s new policy will route harassment complaints through the Center for SafeSport, require its designated officials to undergo awareness training every two years, and will complete criminal background checks every two years on key professionals like coaches and veterinarians.

For the moment, the Center for SafeSport is restricting its activities to governing organizations for Olympic and Paralympic sports. Center for SafeSport spokeswoman Kate Brannen pointed out the U.S. House and Senate recently passed legislation requiring amateur athletic organizations, including collegiate teams and local recreational leagues, to use the Center’s services.

Where does that leave racing?

“Regardless of industry, as long as you have people, you’re going to have the potential for harassment, so everybody really needs a good policy,” said Brian Simmons, senior business consultant at CMI Human Resource Consulting in Lexington, Ky.

Which means it’s a good time to dust off the old employee handbook.

What’s the problem?

Although the Center for SafeSport is not prepared to take on consulting work for a racing stable or serve as a third-party reporting service yet, there are HR firms and lawyers who will.

Beverly Clemons, president of CMI Human Resource Consulting said it’s not uncommon in her experience to find equine industry employers somewhat ill-prepared in this department. Many experience high turnover or might have such a small number of full-time employees that they haven’t given much thought to formal human resources policies in general, let alone sexual harassment policy.

The first step in building such a policy is defining what constitutes ‘sexual harassment’ in a company policy. Perhaps surprisingly, Clemons and Simmons say the formal definition harkens back to the concept of harassment generally and is considered by HR professionals to be in the same vein as racial discrimination or ageism.

“One of the things people don’t seem to realize about harassment is it is a type of discrimination,” said Simmons. “It’s defined as unwelcome conduct that’s based on being treated differently due to a protected class — the protected classes of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, things like that. Sexual harassment is derived from gender harassment.”

According to a report published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016, there are subtypes of gender harassment, including unwanted sexual attention, sexual coercion, and gender harassment (the latter of which is aimed to insult and reject a group of people, usually without sexual interest). The EEOC places the determination of whether the attention is desired on the victim, rather than the alleged harasser.

Why should employers care?

Besides being an ethical consideration, an employer who allows sexual harassment to continue in the workplace leaves themselves open to a world of legal hurt. Simmons said sexual harassment in a professional setting could result in sanctions from the EEOC, state or local human rights commissions, or even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Civil litigation is also possible from the victim.

Then, there are the intangible consequences.

“What does that accusation do to the image, the morale of the organization?” said Simmons. “There are the hits to productivity, the attitudes of employees, the loss of teamwork, the things beyond a monetary penalty. It’s all of those other, indirect costs that really hurt businesses when we talk about harassment.”

And that’s assuming word of the alleged harassment doesn’t end up in the media.

The EEOC report found these considerations become amplified the higher up the company’s hierarchy the alleged harasser is stationed.

For racing industry employers who assume their business is exempt from the problem of harassment, Simmons says: You’re probably wrong. The same EEOC report estimated somewhere between 25 percent to 85 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment at work (the number varied depending upon how they were surveyed and what parameters were given to define the term). An estimated 70 percent of cases go unreported. Victims may be afraid they won’t be believed, worried they’ll be blamed for the incident, or concerned about retaliation from their alleged harasser or their superiors for reporting.

Simmons believes historically male-dominated businesses like racing might be at greater risk than other industries for issues with sexual harassment. The EEOC task force report laid out a list of risk factors gathered from academic and professional sources, which are likely to increase the risk for harassment. The list includes: lack of diversity in the workforce, workplaces where a limited number of employees come from a different demographic from everyone else, cultural/language barriers, a young workforce, workplaces with “high value employees” or significant power disparities, social discord in society at large, customer service-oriented businesses, businesses with monotonous work, isolated workspaces, cultures that tolerate alcohol consumption, and decentralized organization.

What should a good policy accomplish?

Besides defining sexual harassment for the purposes of that company, Simmons and Clemons say a good sexual harassment policy should include instructions for employees to report harassment, with more than one specific individual designated. It may be appropriate to leave this somewhat open by naming a handful of people and saying ‘or another member of department management,’ to increase the chances this will include someone the victim knows well.

One of the biggest fears that keeps victims from reporting sexual harassment is the worry the company won’t do anything about it. A good written policy should make it clear the company takes accusations seriously and will launch an investigation. It should also include a whistleblower policy stating those who report such behavior should not be subject to retaliation.

The policy shouldn’t spell out exactly how accusations will be investigated, however. Clemons and Simmons say many cases are not a result of an employee maliciously seeking victims to harass, but outlining each step of a potential investigation would give a calculated aggressor the chance to cover his or her tracks.

It’s critical that a third party be appointed to look into allegations of harassment. Some attorneys offer this service as do HR consultants, though Clemons advises employers to inquire about a firm’s experience in this area before engaging one. That third party should also come in without a presumption of guilt toward the accused harasser.

“There has to be a balance with the rush to judgment,” said Simmons, recalling a particularly devastating case in which a man lost his job but his accuser later admitted their report was false. “This person was ostracized and penalized just based on allegations alone. We see that a lot of times where people will rush to judgment without doing a proper investigation.

“A lot of impact is being felt beyond the initial allegation,” agreed Clemons. “We’ve seen suicides, we’ve seen careers destroyed, families destroyed. That’s also going to trickle into the workplace.”

More than a policy

The most important thing about a sexual harassment policy is that it shouldn’t begin and end with the company’s game plan in the event of a complaint. It should be part of a schedule of awareness training and an employer-driven culture. Lower level employees should receive training as soon after beginning work as possible, and managers should also be given instructions on how to handle complaints and what to do if they see something inappropriate take place. Clemons acknowledges this can be tough in high turnover businesses, but it has to be done.

“Many times, what we see companies do is they have a situation like this and they realize, ‘Oh gosh, we have not trained our employees or our managers on this subject thoroughly. We’ve kind of let that slide by thinking that people can be adults and use common sense,’” said Clemons. “Brian and I have talked about this a lot – things that have been ‘acceptable’ in the workplace now aren’t acceptable. Then it was allowed and people turned their eyes away. Too much awareness has been brought to this. They key is: you could be next. That’s what we’re telling our clients is, we’re trying to keep you in the know but not in the news.” 



RACING: Kart racing is a passion for young drivers – The Edwardsville Intelligencer


Stamer, Richardson part of seminar at Gateway Kartplex


Published 11:00 am, Sunday, March 11, 2018


MADISON — Evan Stamer and Hunter Richardson have found success in kart racing, and they’re doing their best to spread the word about the sport.

The 16-year-old Stamer, a sophomore at Edwardsville High School, and the 16-year-old Richardson, a junior at EHS, race at Gateway Kartplex, located inside Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison.

On Saturday, Stamer and Richardson were among the young drivers on hand for a youth karting seminar at the Kartplex, where they talked to kids ages 5 to 15 about their racing experiences.

“The goal today is just to bring in a broader base of people that maybe haven’t been exposed to the sport of karting,” said Keith Freber, owner of Margay Racing, which manufactures the karts used at the Kartplex.

“We can tell them what it takes to get involved and a lot of the positive aspects of the sport that you can enjoy at the Kartplex.”

Stamer earned his position as a spokesman for kart racing through his achievements at the Kartplex over the past four years.

“I guess you could say I got started in racing when I was 4,” Stamer said. “I started riding lots of dirt bikes and really loved the motorsports category of it.

“When I was about 12, my mom and dad didn’t like me riding dirt bikes anymore because they felt it was dangerous. At the (St. Louis) auto show, we found the Gateway Kartplex tent and they gave us a flier for kart racing.”

Stamer and his parents called Margay Racing and soon bought a kart.

“It was really inexpensive for what it was and it got us started,” Stamer said.

Stamer quickly became a regular at the Kartplex, competing in nearly every local race as well as traveling once a month to other tracks.

“I really like the speed portion of it and kind of being on the edge and not really knowing what’s going to happen next,” Stamer said. “I like the close racing and having respect for all the other drivers.”

Richardson, like Stamer, got into motorsports at a young age.

“Me and my dad have always been around engines and four-wheelers and dirt bikes all of our lives,” Richardson said. “A couple of my friends, including Evan, brought me down to the (Kartplex) track and pretty soon I was racing.

“I started off strong and I then I took a break for a year. This is my first year back and I’ve been enjoying it a ton.”

Richardson enjoys what he describes as the “adrenaline rush” of kart racing.

“Sometimes you don’t think when you’re out there — you’re just racing,” Richardson said. “You have to be smart about moves, but I really enjoy the speed.”

The Kartplex, which opened in June 2014, is one-half mile and has 11 turns.

The 2018 racing schedule, which starts this spring, features 11 races on Saturday morning or Saturday night. The top three finishers in each class earn a trophy.

The program used at the Kartplex is called “spec racing,” which means that every racer is using the same type of equipment.

A typical kart is about 6 1/2 feet long and 4 1/2 feet wide. With a driver in it, it weighs approximately 300 to 350 pounds with a 10-horsepower engine.

A ready-to-race package, including all of the safety gear and other equipment, costs about $5,000.

“You’re not going to be outspent or out-engineered by somebody else,” Freber said. “You’re not racing checkbooks — the focus is squarely on the driver. It’s a very level playing field.”

After competing in the Junior class at the Kartplex, Stamer has moved up to the Senior class, which starts at age 16.

“It’s kind of surreal that we’re in the Senior class now with all of the good racers that have been racing for a long time,” Stamer said. “It’s really fun to race with those guys.

“I want to get more championships and compete in more national races. I want to get my name out there for sponsors to know.”

Kart racing is often called an entryway to other motorsports, and that’s definitely the case for Stamer.

“Later this year I’m planning on going to Florida and doing the Lucas Oil Racing School,” Stamer said. “I want to get involved in more car racing, so I’m trying to transition into that.”

For the time being, Richardson plans to stick to kart racing instead of moving on to auto racing.

“This year I’m trying to run for the championship and maybe get a couple wins,” Richardson said.



McAvaney to lead Adelaide Cup coverage – Racing.com


Legendary sports broadcaster Bruce McAvaney (Image: VRC)

Legendary sports broadcaster Bruce McAvaney (Image: VRC)

The Adelaide Cup has long been one of Australia’s most significant staying races and it will be broadcast live on Racing.com for the first time in 2018, with the coverage hosted by legendary Seven Network broadcaster Bruce McAvaney.

Run at South Australia’s premier race course, Morphettville, the UBET Adelaide Cup is a Group 2 contest that offers $400,000 in prizemoney.

The 3200m staying feature has been won by some outstanding horses since being staged for the first time in 1864, with an honour roll that includes Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductee Malua, and Melbourne Cup winners King Ingoda, Rain Lover, Hyperno, Just A Dash and Subzero.

Tommy Woodcock’s popular stayer Reckless won the Adelaide Cup in 1977, sitting alongside other Cup wins in Sydney and Brisbane, before his narrow defeat in the Melbourne Cup.

Other great stayers to have won the Adelaide Cup include Moss Kingdom, who added it to his resume after winning the 1984 Perth Cup, and Mr Lomondy, who won the race in 1986 before winning the Caulfield Cup later that year.

Lord Reims, the 1987 Caulfield Cup winner, is the only horse to have won the Adelaide Cup on three successive occasions, winning from 1987 to 1989. Our Pompeii went back to back in 1993 and 1994.

This year’s field is lead by top weight Benzini, winner of the 2016 Brisbane Cup, and he will have to carry 59kg.

Other runners include last year’s runner up Double Bluff, Hobart Cup winner Pretty Punk and Pakenham Cup winner Like A Carousel.

Champion South Australian jockey Clare Lindop, winner of the race in 2006 aboard Exalted Time, will ride in her final Adelaide Cup when partnering veteran stayer Tunes after announcing her intention to retire in the coming months.

The powerful Lindsay Park training operation of David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, fresh from winning two Group 1 races at Flemington on Saturday, will saddle up three runners in the race – Fanatic, Al Haram and Raindrops On Roses.

Other feature races on the program include the $200,000 Magic Millions Adelaide 2YO Classic over 1200m, the $100,000 Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup over 1600m, and the $100,000 Listed Quayclean Matrice Stakes over 1200m.

Bruce McAvaney, a proud South Australian, will anchor the Racing.com coverage from Morphettville, working alongside the Racing.com South Australian racing team of Adam McGrath and James Jordan throughout the day.

Dean Pettit will interview winning jockeys after each race on horseback while Grace Ramage will have plenty of news and colour interviews from around Morphettville.

The Racing.com coverage of the Adelaide Cup, complemented by the Victorian meeting at Ballarat, will commence at 11.45am AEDT, 11.15am ACDT, across Free-To-Air channels 78 and 68, Foxtel 529 and Racing.com digital, which will also have editorial updates from the track.

It will be supported by the Racing.com social media channels on Twitter (@racing), Facebook (@racingdotcom) and Instagram (@racingdotcom).



IndyCar crash: Port-a-potty truck rams into Chip Ganassi Racing … – Autoweek


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The first crash of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season involved a port-a-potty “pumper” truck that crashed into Chip Ganassi Racing’s hospitality motorhome at 7 a.m. Eastern time Friday. The truck was attempting to back up to the unit used to entertain guests when it apparently stuck in reverse gear and crashed into the motorhome. The driver’s side of the truck was crushed.

Early reports are the driver of the port-a-potty truck suffered injured ribs and lacerations to his face.

The crash scene drew plenty of curious onlookers in an area of the race course where other teams, such as Andretti Autosport, Honda and the IndyCar Paddock Club, have their hospitality motorhomes.

“Twenty-eight years I’ve had a motorhome; no problem,” Ganassi told Autoweek. “Two races in a row and we crash two motorhomes.

“How do you explain that?”

The team’s hospitality motorhome crashed on the way back from Sonoma, California, after the 2017 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma — the final race of the season.

According to Ganassi, Friday morning’s incident caused “minimal damage” to his unit.

Team members of Ganassi’s hospitality staff were cleaning up the area and hoping to repair the damage in time to entertain guests. This is the first race PNC Bank will serve as Scott Dixon’s sponsor. NTT Data is the sponsor on newcomer Ed Jones’ No. 10 Honda.

The first IndyCar Series practice of the season is set for later Friday morning for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

 



Port-a-potty crash

Ganassi’s hospitality staff hoped to repair the damage from Friday’s crash in time to entertain guests at this weekend’s IndyCar race in Florida. Photo by Bruce Martin



















Sportech Racing and Digital Secures New Long-Term Contract with Camarero Racetrack – PR Newswire (press release)


Sportech will also upgrade Camarero’s existing website, ganadondesea.com, to its latest-generation G4 wagering website platform, offering online players a new feature-rich betting experience and offering Camarero new tools for engaging with their customers.  

Sportech will also deploy the Digital Link® app for mobile betting, offering a convenient, optimized betting experience to consumers who wish to use their own smart phone or tablet to wager conveniently and securely.   

Finally, Camarero will now have the capability to offer fixed-odds simulated racing through both land-based and digital channels with Sportech’s Virtual Racing.

Andrew Gaughan, President of Sportech Racing and Digital, commented, “Camarero is a valued, long-term customer of Sportech Racing and Digital and we are pleased to extend and grow our partnership.  We look forward to using Sportech’s technologies to help Camarero deliver the best possible betting experience to racing fans in Puerto Rico, whether they are visiting the track, using the ganadondesea.com website, or using the new Digital Link® mobile betting app.”

About Sportech Racing and Digital
Sportech Racing and Digital, a division of Sportech PLC, is a leading global provider of wagering technology solutions to licensed betting operators.  Sportech’s footprint is international in scope, with significant market positions in The Americas and Europe and a growing presence in Asia. Globally, our systems process nearly $12 billion in bets annually, with a presence in 37 countries, and customers in most U.S. states that permit such betting. In addition to software, hardware, and services that facilitate land-based pari-mutuel wagering, Sportech is one of the largest U.S. providers of web and mobile pari-mutuel wagering platforms. 

For more information about Sportech Racing // Digital, visit www.sportech.net. 

Parent company Sportech PLC provides and operates technology solutions for some of the world’s best-known gaming companies, sports teams, and racetracks, as well as owning and operating its own gaming venues in the USA and the Netherlands under exclusive licences. For more information about Sportech PLC, visit www.sportechplc.com.

Contact:
Jennifer Conning
Jennifer.Conning@sportech.net

Cision View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sportech-racing-and-digital-secures-new-long-term-contract-with-camarero-racetrack-300611203.html

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Carlin Racing IndyCar team's crew has never performed a pit stop in a race – Autoweek


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As a completely new team to the Verizon IndyCar Series, Carlin Racing’s pit crew has never made a competitive pit stop in a race. That’s because the previous series Carlin has competed in were junior formula races that did not include pit stops.

So, when drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball come down pit road in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, it will be the first time their over-the-wall pit crew members will swing into action in any type of race.

“To be honest, we’re going to have to learn by fire,” team owner Trevor Carlin told Autoweek. “We haven’t had a car available to practice pit stops at all. By the time we got the first car finished we had to go to Homestead-Miami Speedway for a test. We got back, stripped it and then built a second car. We finished the second car at the test at Phoenix.

“We have not done a practice pit stop at all.”

Rather than hire a collection of IndyCar crewmembers from other teams, Carlin decided to move his Indy Lights team up to IndyCar. Of course, there are no pit stops in Indy Lights but a few of his crewmembers have made pit stops in other categories.



Here is why the stars aligned for Trevor Carlin to start an IndyCar team



“None of them have IndyCar experience but a few were in Formula 1,” Carlin said. “They are different disciplines, so we are going to have to go step-by-step.

“We’re not going to be the fastest pit crew in the first race. But I guarantee you by the last race, we will match anybody.”

Carlin is one of the most successful teams in junior formulas of Europe. It competes in FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3 European Championship, F4 British Championship, EuroFormula Open Champion, formerly the Indy Lights Series and now IndyCar.

The 54-year-old Carlin, who hails from Wokking, England, has helped start the career of some of the top drivers in racing as over 200 drivers have been involved with his teams throughout the years. Those include Formula One drivers Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson, Jaime Alguersuari, Daniel Ricciardo, Chilton, Narain Karthikean, Jean-Eric Vergne, Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Nasr and Rio Haryanto.

Other drivers that have worked with Carlin include defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, Jamie Green, Oliver Jarvis, Oliver Turvey, Alvaro Parente, Kimball, Robert Wickens and Ed Jones.

Newgarden, Chilton, Kimball, Wickens and Newgarden are all in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The 2018 season begins Sunday with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The ABC telecast begins at 12:30 p.m. ET.