Man 'Has No Stomach' for Sales?

March 20, 2009 ( - A Michigan salesman is suing his former boss for more than $25,000, claiming he was fired for lacking a "flat belly."

Patrick J. Ronayne, 61, is suing Winston Golf and Winston Manufacturing for weight and age discrimination, claiming he was let go from his $75,000-a-year job in April 2007 with an unattributed statement that “he was not a ‘flat belly’ like some of the other (and younger) people who were retained,” according to Detroit News. His lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit Court claims he was an “excellent performer” and received an unscheduled bonus in his three years with the firm.

Ronayne is listed in state records as 5 feet 11 inches tall and 225 pounds, the news report said. The suit claims he was replaced by a thinner person.

Garrett Morelock, a spokesman for the company, seemingly shocked by the lawsuit, told the Detroit News: “He was let go for one reason and one reason only: He didn’t sell. You don’t let good salesmen go, and he was not a good salesman.”

Morelock added with a laugh: “You should see some of the people walking around here; flat bellies is not a requirement, believe me.”