'Kick me' sign on Intel worker leads to firings, convictions, lawsuit

May 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM
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RIO RANCHO, N.M., May 8 (UPI) -- A "Kick Me" sign stuck to a New Mexico Intel worker's back led to two employees' firings and the worker's lawsuit against the company, court records show.

An unidentified co-worker placed the sign on Harvey Palacio's back last August while he was at work at Intel Corp. in Rio Rancho, KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported Tuesday.

When Palacio asked a second co-worker, Randy Lehman, whether there was something on his back, Lehmann allegedly kicked him in the rear end three times instead of helping him, court records said.

Chris Zeltinger, a third co-worker, allegedly kicked Palacio twice when Palacio made asked him to remove the sign.

Palacio alleged in his federal lawsuit filed last week in Albuquerque the incidents were a part of a bullying pattern in which co-workers hid his work clothing and filled his work bag with garbage, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Palacio's suit alleges the harassment pattern is racially motivated because he is Filipino and the company's failure to stop the bullying led to his emotional distress

Palacio's suit says co-workers laughed at him and he "felt demoralized and assaulted and he began to cry during the drive home," the newspaper said.

Intel said it was reviewing the lawsuit, the Journal said.

Lehman and Zeltinger were convicted of petty misdemeanor battery, sentenced to 16 hours of community service -- and lost their jobs.

It wasn't reported what compensation Palacio seeks in his lawsuit.

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