Has it really come down to where an employee of a Harley Davidson dealership can get fired for buying a bike at another dealership? That is exactly what happened in Fargo North Dakota?
FARGO, N.D. A former Harley-Davidson of Fargo employee says he was let go for buying a lower-priced motorcycle of the same brand from a different store than Fargo.
He brought the concern to us over the whistleblower hotline—and wants to make locals aware of a rule that he and others say they were never informed of.
A lay-off during the holidays is never easy. But for the Johnson family, that was the least of their worries.
Ben Johnson explains that he and his wife, Bethany, have been bogged down with hospital bills.
“My wife’s had cancer, you know, she’s in remission now, but…the way the surgeon explained to us is radiation’s the gift that keeps on giving,” he said.
Complications from radiation has his wife dealing with multiple surgeries—and consistently in and out of the hospital since 2010.
But the Johnsons aren’t just stuck with Bethany’s medical bills.
“And then for me,” Ben said, “I was out of work for about nine weeks, I had a herniated disk in my back.”
An employee of Harley-Davidson of Fargo, Ben Johnson says he tried to trade in his Road Glide that he bought there.
“It was a great bike,” he said. “Probably one of the best bikes I ever owned.”
But he needed something cheaper.
“They never got back to me,” Ben said, “I was just trying to get something done faster than later.”
He says he waited at least a week and a half with no response from his Fargo store. So he called other Harley dealerships, and within two days Ben found a cheaper Harley-Davidson Fat Bob 100 miles out, in Alexandria, Minn.
“That got me into a lower payment that was better for me and my wife to save some money,” he said, “and put toward medical bills and help us both out.”
That was on a Monday. By that Friday, right before the holiday weekend, he was called in early to work.
“I thought they were just gonna have him come in to talk to him because it was one of their longer days,” his wife Bethany said.
“Went in and said I was being let go because, ‘I can’t have employees buying motorcycles from other dealers,'” Ben said.
To that, Ben says he responded, “I told them I was just doing this to help my family.” But he says the company was firm in its decision.
One of the store’s owners, Jimmy Entenman, did respond, but only to say the store can’t comment on any human resources or personnel matters.
One normal person would think, if your company is having some of it’s toughest times since right before the AMF days, your company would be happy to get all the free advertising it could get. Nope, not Harley Davidson, they go out there and fumble the football with more bad press.
Harley-Davidson is suing California-based clothing company Affliction, alleging the company has sold t-shirts and other items with images that resemble the Harley bar-and-shield logo.
The lawsuit, filed by an affiliate of Harley-Davidson Inc. in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, says a Harley dealer allegedly received a wholesale shipment of Affliction products in October. The dealer told the company the shirts infringed on Harley trademarks and Affliction asked that they be returned.
The complaint says lawyers for Harley sent a cease-and-desist letter on Oct. 18 to Affliction alleging the company had been selling 20 infringing products and promoting two images as available from its “Artist Den.”
Nearly a month later, Affliction’s lawyers indicated the company would stop selling six of the items but allegedly continued selling the others.
The lawsuit makes six claims against Affliction and asks for an order blocking the company from infringing on Harley trademarks;
Affliction would also have to destroy existing products with infringing images; cover the cost of corrective advertising, pay Harley $2 million per trademark per type of product, pay Harley any profits it earned from infringing items, pay compensatory and punitive damages and pay Harley’s attorney fees.
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