EB Games Settled A Harassment Claim For $8500

Image: Reddit

Kotaku can reveal that EB Games has paid $8500 to at least one of its former staffers to settle a formal complaint lodged against the company.

As Kotaku reported a couple of years ago, former staffers had filed formal complaints against the company relating to their treatment, some of which centred around the treatment of staffers at the hands of an EB Games regional manager Mark DiStefano.

Inside EB Games: When The Dream Job Becomes A Nightmare

The dream job. being involved with the games industry, with like-minded people who have the same hobbies, enjoy the same things, speak the same language. A place where everyone loves video games. Of course they do; why else would they be working at EB Games?

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A claim of harassment against EB Games was lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission. One of those former staffers who took part in that claim confirmed with Kotaku that they were offered, and accepted, a settlement of $8500.

"I got pressured into taking the deal and I regret it," the former staffer told Kotaku, adding that EB Games also refused to supply him with a reference going forward.

Kotaku understands the settlement was accepted with no admission of guilt on the company's part. When contacted for comment, an EB Games representative said that "our legal advice is we are unable to respond to any confidential matters."

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Comments

    disgusting to hear. good to keep this out in the open as a warning to anyone considering working for them

      What a silly thing to say, why would people be discouraged because one bad apple? All companies have them.

        People, however, might be discouraged by the low-ball settlement offer given that the employee was presumably either forced out or left the company as a result of the harassment and may have taken months to find a new job, particulary when he would have to explain why he didn't leave with a reference from his former employer.

        Both the low-ball offer and the lack of a reference very much do say more about the company than "one bad apple", although in any case, poor company culture is what allows bad apples to flourish rather than nipping the behaviour in the bud before it gets to the point of someone suing the company.

        We know from numerous articles here and elsewhere that EB games has a particularly poor employee culture that includes expectations of regular unpaid overtime, arbitrary dismissal and consumer-unfriendly sales tactics (eg quotas for used game sales).

          Maybe the lawyers have a quota for number of settlements they convince people to take?

        You realise that the saying is one bad apple ruins the bunch right? The entire point of that idiom is that no matter how much good you put forward if you miss one rotten piece of fruit it can ruin everything.

      Worked at an EB games in the same region from 2012 - 2015, knew the person who pressed charges, I can tell you this is a fucking money grab.

      They weren't meeting KPI targets so they were given less shifts, so they retaliated by FIRST making racial discrimination claims, and THEN was encouraged to make sexual harassment claims. Both bullshit.

      Mark is a blunt person, but he treated everyone equally, and this case only distracts from the REAL discrimination and harassment going on involving OTHER PEOPLE, that may not have the financial backing to bring it to the surface.

        They weren't meeting KPI targets so they were given less shifts

        Thats illegal under Australian workplace laws.

        so they retaliated by FIRST making racial discrimination claims, and THEN was encouraged to make sexual harassment claims. Both bullshit.

        By all means provide the strong documented evidence to disprove the claims.

        Mark is a blunt person, but he treated everyone equally, and this case only distracts from the REAL discrimination and harassment going on involving OTHER PEOPLE, that may not have the financial backing to bring it to the surface.

        And this sentence shows your bias and the rose coloured glasses you have on.

          By all means provide the strong documented evidence to disprove the claims. I'd rather they didn't, hey. If you take a cursory look at the numerous publications related to this story, you'll see that the person who made the initial complaint has always been referred to under a potentially pseudonymous mononym. Asking for specific details is effectively asking for the person to be outed when clearly they have not wanted to be.

          Might be a good idea to edit that request out of your post.

            Im not the one making baseless claims about the guy. Direct your inquiry to vinylconrad.

            Last edited 18/08/17 3:05 am

              There really is no reason to be obtuse about this. Instead of demanding someone present you with information that doesn't need to be shared in public, just call them a knob and be on your merry way.

          Literally put my rose coloured glasses on to reply to you.

          I'm not out to publicly embarrass this person, or to defend EB Games as the best, or even a slightly respectable workplace, I only want the alleged victim to know that I KNOW that they've taken advantage of the legal system, targeting a man who didn't deserve to be slandered, all out of spite for being treated the same way we were all treated if we scored low with our KPI's, which was to be favored less than those who performed well.

          Harassment and abuse certainly occurs in the company, but between these two parties? from my first hand experience with them, my opinion is that it was a clash of arrogant personalities, combined with dodgy work ethic on EB's part + alleged victims part, and NOT sexual harassment or racial discrimination.

          I feel so fucking awful for those I know who face real abuse at EB. Their voices should be heard louder than the lies of this asshole.

            Anecdotal evidence is not real evidence. Put up or shut up.

              LOL 😂. You are so wrong in so many ways. One wonders if you just trolling or are serious.

              Not saying anything about what vinylconrad posted. However you do realise that many court cases rely on anecdotal evidence? It is up to jury to decide whether it holds water. Not you. To say it isn't real evidence is silly.

              I understand, it's hard to dismiss sexual assault claims, and it is absolutely better to assume that the claims are true at the start, because it's a serious societal issue that affects many, and there isn't much to gain from lying about it.

              You can't honestly say that statements like the ones I'm making, in cases similar to this, aren't considered when collating evidence for and against the claim though. That's naive.

                Then why did you not submit evidence at the case instead of posting on here making claims about the person without backing them up. A word i would use to describe what you have done is cowardly.

    Lesson for the future, dont give in to pressure.
    Just stand your ground to stop this world from pushing you around

    At least he had the good sense to reject EB's offer of a pre-owned settlement for $8490.

      he can always trade in the settlement and get $40 towards Call of Duty.

    There's actually no information, here. Harrassment? How so? Was the guy contacting him on social media? It's not public slander, so... I don't get it. $8500 could be very little or it could be a hell of a lot depending on the severity of the circumstances.

      If it's tied to the earlier stories if i recall correctly there were stories of a staff member forced to work with another staff member they had reported as sexually assaulting or harrassing them, staff members who were being insulted for their race and a staff member accused of stealing. Without the details we can't say if it's fair or not I agree and we also never saw EB's version of events either. There's a lot of bad stories and it does seem they have a culture of exploiting young employees for unpaid work but I'm sure any large business that is really pushing for profits and employs a lot of young people (particularly in a trendy hobby industry like gaming) will have bad stories too (see games workshop globally).

    There is a link to the original story from back in 2015 near the top of the this article. If even half of the allegations are true the company and the manager at the centre of need to be held accountable for what happened. I feel sorry for person that felt pressured into a settlement but when your facing a room full of lawyers even the strongest of people can falter , or just that it has been going on for 2 years now and they find themselves in a better place now and just want it to be over.

    Would be nice to have some more info on this. The details are scant.

    is anyone else here amazed at the the extremely low settlement amount. Maybe its just me but arent most settlements usually in the 50k+ range. 8500 just seems extremely small

      Damn right, the mention of a harassment settlement being so low in the title is what made me click in the first place.

      My next thought while it was loading was, who accepted that?!

      from the previous articles, it seemed like he was never after a payout. Just an apology, the backpay he was owed and his ban from EB lifted. So the settlement is probably just to cover that.

    Thats a crazy low amount. I know of an EB store manager that got the boot for harassing a female 2IC. He'd got the boot from his last job for the same reason. ShlT floats upwards it seems.

    The amount of shady stuff that goes on at EB Games still surprises me, even years after leaving their employment. From sexual harassment, violence, abuse, sex in storerooms, discrimination, even theft. I doubt I'm the only person who knows about the store manager fired for stealing thousands of $$ in stock, only to be brought back later as an actual area manager.
    Place is an absolute joke and shouldn't be trading

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