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Former GameStop worker subjected to hostile work environment

Category: Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment

On this blog, we often discuss the challenges that people face if they are subjected to sexual harassment on the job. While this is one of the most common types of unlawful behaviors in the workplace, there are other forms of discrimination and abuse that go one in companies all across California that do not involve sexual misconduct or harassment.

Workers are discriminated against based on a number of factors including age, gender, race and disability. Those who are targeted by this abuse can be subjected to a hostile work environment involving unfair treatment, inappropriate comments or denied employment opportunities. One man says that this was experience when he worked as an employee at a GameStop retail location in another state. He says that he was the victim of disability harassment and filed a lawsuit against GameStop, Inc.

According to the man’s claim, he suffers from multiple mental disorders, including Asperger’s Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and experiences depression, anxiety and a fear of germs and contamination. Management understood that he had these disabilities before the hired him and it did not appear to be an issue.

However, the man says that over time he was subjected to harassment and abuse by managers and co-workers. Some called him names while others went out of their way to try and upset the man by exposing him to contaminated products. He was transferred multiple times to different stores in order to escape the abuse and claims he was passed over for promotions as a result of his disability and he ultimately resigned.

The man filed a lawsuit citing a number of employment violations, including disability discrimination, loss of responsibility and promotional opportunities, retaliation and workplace harassment. While a court recently dismissed the first three claims, the harassment claim was upheld based on the court’s ruling that there is enough material to pursue a case against the company for failing to respond properly to the man’s complaints.

This case highlights the intricacies and challenges that can come up in the course of a discrimination or harassment lawsuit. While the details can seem overwhelming, people in a similar position to this man can work with an attorney who thoroughly understands this process and can help a victim navigate the system as successfully as possible.

Source: Pikowski v. GameStop, Inc. et al., No. 11-2732, Dec. 11, 2013

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