A man in New Mexico is suing his company after some co-workers placed a “Kick Me” sign on his back. Harvey Palacio of Albuquerque, NM has filed a lawsuit against Intel Corp. seeking damages related to harassment in the workplace. According to the suit, Palacio had the prank pulled on him and was subject to repeated kicking in the backside during a day of work. Palacio, a Filipino man, believes that this was racially motivated and put forth in an attempt to get him to quit the company. Two of the employees involved have already been fired by Intel and also charged with petty misdemeanor battery.
According to the lawsuit, Harvey Palacio was going about his business in the workplace when a few of his fellow employees began to randomly kick him. He eventually caught on to the prank and went to senior staff member Randy Lehman with the issue. It was at this point that Lehman requested for his own employee to turn around, at which point he proceeded to strike him in the rear with his foot “about 3 times, and hard”. Palacio was so embarrassed by the situation that he broke down crying on the way home from work and hid the ordeal from his wife in order to avoid the shame. While Intel has yet to publicly comment on the matter, the firing of both Randy Lehman and Chris Zeltinger seems to point toward restitution.
This case gives a very negative spin on the idea of staying young at heart. The thought process behind kicking a grown man in the workplace, especially as a prank, is very hard to comprehend. A joke stops becoming a joke when both parties are not laughing or can not see the “humor” in the act itself. There seems to be a malicious nature behind the act, and while one would hope it was not racially motivated, it seems that Mr. Palacio was being targeted for one reason or another. On the flip side of the coin, it is remarkable that you are now able to file suit on someone for something so silly and childish. With respect to Harvey, you would hope there are more serious issues to be discussed in the courtroom.