Longtime Suns employee resigns after citing ‘misogynist’ workplace

With these recent developments now public, Suns owner Robert Sarver and the work environment he created and maintained are once again under the microscope. What happens from here is anybody’s guess.

Phoenix Suns employee resigns after citing misogyny

According to reports, a woman who has worked with the franchise since 2007 signed her resignation in May this year, after alleging that the workplace culture was toxic and misogynistic. It is understood that she sent a detailed letter explaining her decision to a number of members of the team’s ownership group.

In the letter, Melissa Fender Panagiotakopoulos revealed that the organization had “never been so dysfunctional, and the culture is rapidly eroding.” Panagiotakopoulos also commented that “Over the years, it has become clear to me that the Suns organization does not place the same value on developing women in its workforce, or even ensuring that they are treated the same. way than their male counterparts. If those allegations weren’t serious enough, Panagiotakopoulos also added that the Suns paid a higher salary to a male counterpart and gave him more flexibility by giving him the option to work from home. She then explained that on the other hand, she was not allowed to do the same, despite being a working mother. After raising concerns about the situation with the team’s human resources and legal departments, Panagiotakopoulos alleges that she was the victim of retaliation and intimidation by her colleagues.

What is the position of the Phoenix Suns and the NBA on the situation?

With the previous investigation — it remains “ongoing” — into Suns owner Robert Sarver’s interaction with his staff now well documented, it would still be interesting to hear what the Suns themselves had to say. . According to their statement, “We have been made aware of the allegations by a former employee and are investigating them, in accordance with our Respectful Workplace Policy. The Phoenix Suns are committed to creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive work environment free from discrimination and harassment, and we do not tolerate retaliation for reporting suspected misconduct. What remains unclear, however, is whether or not this most recent development will factor into the NBA’s survey of the franchise’s work environment. Indeed, there were even calls for Sarver to step down earlier this year.

As for the NBA itself, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said as recently as April that while there is no timeline for the league’s investigation, it is nearing completion. . “The investigation is ongoing,” Silver said. “I mean, this type of investigation takes a long time. You want to make sure you get all the facts and you also want to make sure you protect the rights of the accused. So we want to err on the side of being very comprehensive. We are certainly closer to the end than the beginning, but it is difficult to establish a precise timetable at the moment.

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