A senior director with EA Games studio in Galway who was fired after allegedly telling a female colleague that he wasn’t going to “pull my dick out” and place it on the desk, is seeking a court injunction against his firing.
Jean Philippe Grenet (56) of EA Ireland denies telling his coworker in Austin, Texas over video that he wasn’t going to put his penis on the desk next to another female colleague so she could see whose was bigger.
After the alleged incident on November 9 Mr Grenet, who earned €160,000 a year as a senior director of Global Delivery Service for Electronic Arts Ireland, was dismissed by the company.
According to the Irish Times Mr Grenet gave a sworn statement to the High Court stating that what he actually said in the conversation was the he didn’t want to compare dick size with his co-worker.
He admitted that it was a clumsy and ill-advised thing to say, but what he meant from it was that he didn’t want to challenge his colleague.
Mr Grenet also accused the person who lodged the complaint against him, Tracy Simmons, of acting out of malice.
He said that as an employee she frequently clashed with him, undermined his authority as a manager, and had difficulties with other employees.
As a result of her complaint against him, EA dismissed Mr Grenet.
He argues that EA breached fair procedures, dismissing him without a proper investigation or disciplinary process.
High Court action
Lawyers for Mr Philippe secured a temporary injunction against EA preventing them from firing him or appointing anyone as his replacement.
They said that the allegations had been twisted out of the context in which they occurred by someone who wanted their client gone from the company.
In response EA said that Mr Grenet had admitted to wrongdoing that entitled them to fire him.
Claims of unfair procedures were also dismissed by the video games company.
At a meeting on November 14 the applicant was called to a meeting where he was informed that he had been fired for gross misconduct, and breach of EA’s harassment policy.
A few days beforehand he had been suspended from his role.
Representing Mr Grenet, Oisín Quinn SC, with Ray Ryan BL, said that while their client admitted to using the word “dick”, the context of the conversation it came up in and that of the complaint are completely different.
Mr Grenet, whose first language is not English, moved from France to Galway earlier this year according to the complaint.
He was in charge of 420 EA employees in Galway and a further 80 in Texas.
Counsel told the High Court that he feared that this dismissal would have a negative impact on his client’s reputation and future.
The case will return to the court next week.