Oh, Bobby Kotick, you rascal you. Your corporate behavior isn’t enough, is it? No, the descent to the Dark Side must be paved with more than just unabashed greed and squicky business dealings. To be truly evil, you have to fire an employee who’s filed a sexual harassment charge. It’s a good thing the courts are less slime-covered than you.
The story isn’t that complex, and Kotaku reports it here. Basically Kotick and his friend Andrew Gordon (head of Goldman Sachs Los Angeles) own a company to manage their shared private jet. And apparently one of the pilots in your employ – a true gentleman by the name of Phil Berg – engaged in various harassing activities toward flight attendant Cynthia Madvig. And when she complained, Kotick fired her.
Well, there’s justice in the world, because Madvig sued and won (well, actually she settled). The same legal battle saw Kotick and Gordon lose to a former attorney of theirs who claimed they’d stiffed her out of almost a million bucks. Kotick’s people appealed, and last month it was decided that the appeal had no merit and the original decision would stand.
Really? Firing an employee for complaining about a harassing work environment? REALLY? My God, Bobby, just sodomize a puppy then burn it alive and be done with it.
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I know that “in all fairness” are not the words often used in reference to Bobby Kotick, but, in all fairness, we really don’t know the actual circumstances. The Eurogamer article on the same topic (seriously, why gaming sites even cover this, it has exactly nothing to do with games?) claims that Madvig sued over sexual harassment and the lawyer advised Kotick to settle to avoid having his name in public related to a sexual harassment case. But Kotick aparently responded thatthere was no harassment and that he does’t take kindly to extortion which is how he saw the situation. So, after some time he did settle and now he lost to the lawyer who he sued for not giving him proper advice. Now, it IS funny, but the thing is, there ARE a lot of gold diggers ut there who will cry harassment as soon as somene looks at them funny, especially if there’s a nice settlement of 200,000 bucks possibly invovled so, you know, perhaps Koticks was actually right this time. Or he was simply a dick sticking with other dicks (because it was the pilot who apparently perpetrated the harassment). We may never know!!!
You make a good point, Meho, but given Bobby Kotick’s history and general behavior I just can’t give him the benefit of the doubt. It just seems completely in-character for him to fire someone who accuses another employee of sexual harassment.
When you are so financially stable Steerpike, there wouldn’t be a person on earth you would fear. Let alone a flight attendant screaming sexual harassment.
On a side note- why do those who have been subject to sexual harassment always want figures in the millions of £’s? How is that quantifiable?! Someone sexualises you, maybe projects inappropriate language, encourages raunchy activity against your wishes but I still fail to see why it’s worth ‘millions’. Loss of one years earnings- sure. Anything else is just greed.
A recent case in London saw a female lawyer sue her law firm for £4,000,000 because a client and her boss took her to a strip club, told sexist jokes and called her blondie- she claims she was so depressed she couldn’t work!
Oh please (and for want of a better word) Man Up you stupid cow!
I read this at Kotaku last night and it may help to get the rest of the details there. The woman settled for a measly $200,000. Considering this guy has a private jet, I imagine that’s just gas money to someone like him.
A court later concluded that the settlement was a joke, so they made him give her more money.
You can complain about “gold diggers” and maybe she even is (though I’m not buying it). But if your employee comes up to you and says they are being sexually harassed by another employee, it is both your responsibility and the law to deal with the situation, not fire the harassed employee. That sort of thing leads to lawsuits.
Also, I thought it ironic the lawyers got more then twice what the woman got out of the settlement.
Sad that the first thought was how was the woman the villain, especially considering we all know what a creep Kotick is.
Totally agree with Armand. The state of blame or lawsuit culture is a different issue I think.
The overriding point here is that any staff grievance in any work place, nevermind one as serious as possible sexual harassment, should be dealt with in a proper and professional way. To fire an employ for complaining about being sexually harassed is absolutely abhorrent.
Still, Kotick acting in a totally classless fashion hardly warrants “shock” status, either. All in all it paints a pretty grim picture.
For what it’s worth though I also totally agree with Meho about the coverage this is getting. I think Tap is different because we’re not strictly just a videogame website, but I’m suspicious of the colomn inches that the commercial gaming press are giving this. An easy way to drum up attention by provoking “grrrrr Bobby Kotick” response from the masses? He’s the gaming industry’s pantomime villain (warranted but still) so it’s an easy avenue to go down..