An employee has sued Intel over a “kick me” prank. Harvey Palacio accuses his colleagues, at the Rio Rancho Intel plant, of taping the sign to his back, causing him to receive numerous kicks to his buttocks.
Palacio alleges that after being kicked several times, he suspected that there was a sign taped to his back — instructing his colleagues to kick him. He reported his suspicions to supervisor Randy Lehman, asking him to check his back for a sign.
As reported by MSN, Lehman saw the sign on Palacio’s back. However, instead of removing it, he proceeded to kick him in the buttocks three times. Palacio sought the help of another colleague, Chris Zeltinger, who also chose to kick him, rather than removing the sign.
Palacio reports that he eventually left the building, devastated and crying. He claims that the abuse was racially motivated as he is Filipino. Palacio sued Intel over the “kick me” prank as he was subjected to similar abuse over a period of several months.
In addition to the “kick me” prank, Intel employees are accused of hiding Palacio’s work clothing and putting garbage in his personal belongings.
Lehman and Zeltinger were both terminated from Intel, and were convicted of misdemeanor battery charges. Both men were sentenced to 16 hours of community service for taunting and kicking their colleague.
As reported by the Huffington Post,Intel has declined comment concerning the impending federal lawsuit. Lehman’s attorney, Diego Esquibel, has stated that his client is “truly sorry for any shame sadness or pain the victim felt.”
Bullying in schools, and among children, continues to be an important topic of discussion. However, workplace bullying, amongst adults, can be equally devastating and damaging. Feeling threatened while attending school or going to work is unacceptable.
Harvey Palacio was bullied, and is now fighting back. He is suing Intel over the “kick me” prank, as he felt the incident was abusive and motivated by racism.