Prank lands Intel in court

Posted by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

Intel is being dragged to court by an employee who was the target of a childish prank, perpetrated by fellow co-workers at the company’s Rio Rancho plant.

The unfortunate worker, Harvey Palacio, had a “Kick Me” signed taped to his back by his not-so-dear colleagues, who then proceeded to kick him a number of times. Hysterical laughter ensued, but in the end Palacio might get the last laugh, depending on how well he does in court.

After he got kicked a few times, he started suspecting that there was something taped on his back. He then enlisted the help of senior staffer Randy Lehman. As Lehman was checking, Palacio heard another employee yell out “Don’t read it, just do it.” Lehman obliged, and kicked Palacio three times in his buttocks. Palacio then turned to co-worker Chris Zeltinger, who didn’t remove the sign, either. He just landed his foot on Palacio’s fluffy hind quarters a couple more times, AP reports.

"Palacio decided that this could not continue and walked back in front of the group to ask someone else to remove it," the lawsuit said. "Palacio felt demoralized and assaulted and he began to cry during the drive home. He could not tell his wife because he was so embarrassed and ashamed."

This, however, is where the plot thickens. Palacio claims that his co-workers also pulled other pranks, including one in which they would “hide” his uniform and stuff his bag with trash. He claims he was singled out due to his ethnicity. He is Filipino, and the silly episode might paint Intel in a very bad light indeed.

Lehman and Zeltinger were convicted of petty misdemeanour and ordered to perform 16 hours of community service each. Both lost their jobs over the infantile prank, as Intel has a zero-tolerance policy against workplace bullying and general stupidity. 

However, Palacio is now seeking damages from his employer. It is still unclear how much he hopes to get, but he definitely deserves something. In case you were wondering, we are not sure why he was unable to check what was taped to his back himself, either.